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“When Christ was lifted from the earth”

13 May 2010

I am not a big fan of most hymns dating after the early 1900s that have made their way into the Hymnal, but this is a noted exception. The words floored me at Mass for the Ascension this evening. This is the kind of things that Christianity should be screaming out in today’s world, the truth that the world needs to hear.

Lyrics by Brian A. Wren, copyright 1980 by Hope Publishing Company. From The Hymnal 1982, #603.

When Christ was lifted from the earth,
his arms stretched out above
through every culture, every birth
to draw an answering love.

Still east and west his love extends
and always, near or far,
he calls and claims us as his friends
and loves us as we are.

Where generation, class, or race
divide us to our shame,
he sees not labels, but a face,
a person, and a name.

Thus freely loved, though fully known,
may I in Christ be free
to welcome and accept his own
as Christ accepted me.

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