472: Wisdom from Scotland: What Iona Community can teach us about cities

Wow! The Monday-morning kickoff of our “Lift Cities in Prayer” drew immediate and enthusiastic responses. (For easy navigation: Here’s the special OurValues.org series on this theme—and here’s our 2009 “Lift Cities in Prayer” resource page.)
    In coming weeks, we’ll share more of your responses on the spiritual needs of our core communities. But, here’s one great example: From the UK, famed hymn writer Graham Maule Emailed on Monday, sending some sample texts that illustrate how the Iona Community weaves the needs of cities into hymns, prayers and entire worship services.
    Today, we’re sharing one of Graham’s Emailed offerings, below. Then, come back tomorrow for a Conversation With John Bell, Graham’s hymn-writing colleague and also the author of a brand-new book on energizing your community.

    Why are these stories so urgent? Because in these troubling times, many spiritual voices are urging people to pull back from the world. A whole lot of American inspirational media these days focuses on finding individual solace, instead of helping others.
    In sharp contrast, Graham Maule, John Bell and the entire Iona Community are an international chorus calling people not to flee from our core communities. This Scotland-based movement is Christian, so their prayers and songs speak of Christian beliefs. However, whatever your faith may be, we think you’ll find these lines from Iona strikingly different than a lot of what’s being written in America right now.

    Let this text form a kind of prayer for us all today. (And, below it, you’ll find links to the Iona Community and its media resources.)


Jesus Christ is waiting,              
waiting in the streets;
no one is his neighbour,
all alone he eats.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I am lonely too.
Make me, friend or stranger,
fit to wait on you.

Jesus Christ is raging,
raging in the streets,
where injustice spirals
and real hope retreats.
Listen, Lord Jesus
I am angry too.
In the Kingdom’s causes
let me rage with you.

Jesus Christ is healing,
healing in the streets;
curing those who suffer,
touching those he greets.
Listen, Lord Jesus,
I have pity too.
Let my care be active,
healing, just like you.

Jesus Christ is dancing,
dancing in the streets,
where each sign of hatred
he, with love, defeats.
Listen, Lord Jesus 
I should triumph too.
Where good conquers evil
let me dance with you.

Jesus Christ is calling,
calling in the streets,
“Who will join my journey?
I will guide their feet.”
Listen, Lord Jesus,
let my fears be few.
Walk one step before me;
I will follow you.

© 1988 WGRG, Iona Community, Glasgow G2 3DH, Scotland.


    The Iona Community and Wild Goose publications are a bit difficult to find in American bookstores and American-based inspirational Web sites. That’s a gap we want to help close. Here are some important links to Iona’s creative community.
    IONA BOOKS: Here’s the home site of Wild Goose Publications, the publishing house of the Iona Community. Established in the Celtic Christian tradition of St Columba, Wild Goose produces
books, CDs/DVDs and digital downloads.
    WILD GOOSE RESOURCE GROUP: This is a semi-autonomous project within the Iona Community, set up to house joint work in worship and music resources headed by Graham Maule and John Bell. This page contains various links that focus on their work.
    THE RESOURCE GROUP ON FACEBOOK: Another way to connect with the ongoing efforts of the Maule-Bell group is via this Facebook group. The Facebook page also offers helpful links to members and non-members.


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    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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