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Hymn: If we claim to love our neighbours

If we claim to love our neighbours
while the hungry queue for food,
are we prey to self deception?
Is perception quite so crude?
If we sit beside our neighbours,
begging for the things they need,
we might share their own injustice
in a world that thrives on greed.

If we punish those with nothing,
blaming them for where they stand,
is this love of friend or neighbour,
do we still not understand?
Love of neighbour is not easy,
cuts us til we feel the pain,
sharing hurt that they are feeling
till they find new life again.

Love of neighbour sets us squarely
in the place where they now sit,
till the richness God has given
builds a pearl around the grit.
Till each person shares the comfort
of the love of which we preach,
till we live as fact the Gospel:
none can be beyond love's reach.

© Andrew Pratt 28/3/2015 (
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)

Written during the Manchester & Stockport District Synod (in response to a Joint Public Issues Team presentation by Rachel Lampard & Paul Morrison).
The hymn was sung at the close of Synod.