Monday, 26 February 2007

Raise your voice O God!

A joyful psalm to God calling to hear God’s voice ever more strongly in our lives.
It comes as a cry of love to the Lord and not as a demand from God’s people!

Raise your voice O God!
Lift us with your song
Urge us with your trumpet call
Raise your voice O God!
We would hear you sing
And respond with hearts brought alive.

Raise your voice O God!
We would hear your word
And its call to change and live.
Raise your voice O God!
Give us ears to hear
that your love for us never dies!

Raise your voice O God!
In the still of night,
As I rest each ache of day
Raise your voice O God,
As the morning breaks
And your Glory radiant display.

Raise your voice O God,
In the shops and streets,
In each person that I meet.
Raise your voice O God,
In my comfort zone
And each time I try to retreat.

Raise your voice O God,
Shout across the world,
In each tongue and faith you call.
Raise your voice O God,
Show us we are one
And with you we face heavens goal.

Raise your voice O God,
Lift us with your song,
Urge us with your trumpet call
Raise your voice O God,
We would hear you sing
And respond in love of your tone.

Words © Martin Knight 15th February 2006
Music © Martin Knight
Tune: Cheetham Hill – 557 558

God, in whom we have our being

Over the past few years I have been paying much more attention to writing hymns, meditations and other liturgical stuffs - so I will offer them in this section.

For most of the hymns I have written the music as well but they will also go to more familiar tunes and metres. If you would like my tunes then just ask and I can e-mail midi and mp3 files.

All I ask is that you use the correct acknowledgements in OfoS etc and let me know where they have been used - just out of personal curiosity!

So, the first one I offer is below. It seeks to explore a personal intimate relationship with God, without using a lot of pious individualistic language that drives me so mad!! It acknowledges our insecurities and seeks to confront them.

God, in whom we have our being;
guide us as we search for You.
In our hidden depths and longings,
stirring, You seek out our new.

God, by whom we have creation;
growing, moving, always fresh,
You inspire, confront and call us;
breathe for us each morning breath.

God, through whom we seek our freedom;
searching out the homes of fear.
Justice, truth in true repentance:
dare us Lord, to hold them dear!

God, with whom we cry for friendship;
here, we ache for love to lead.
Point us in the right direction;
facing pain and human need.

God, made known in human breathing,
turning tables on our sin.
Strong compassion, gentle power;
from cruel realms, Christ calls us in.

God, in whom we have our being,
guide us as we search for You.
Spirit thrilling to invite us,
Christ, stir up your word anew!

Words © Martin Knight
Music © Martin Knight
Cornford: 87.87 (Trochaic)

Safe to Come out?

Whilst I wait for surgery on my back I have the 'joy' of watching more telly than is helpful - but just occasionally there is something really worth watching.

This morning the gay rapper Qboy presented a program about young boys coming out at school. Aged about 14/15 these kids find the inner integrity to be open with friends and family at a really young age. In fact, probably exactly the right age - during puberty as we begin to realise who we are. The program showed that it is not always easy as some of them experienced worse bullying after coming out - but even being able to come out so young does show that the level of wider acceptance makes this more possible.

Things were very different for me and for countless others. School was hard. I lived as a shadow of myself. I looked all around me for any positive role models - in fact, for any models at all. It was a big enough step for me to admit that I went to Church - let alone that I'm a poof!

There is something really important here.
For me - the only prompts about sexuality and being gay came from church - and they were all negative. Its not that my home church was really vocally against homosexuality - but more that they didn't really say much at all - but what was said was prejudiced. This was the only place I heard a voice on the issue. All my self questions trying desperately to understand if I was sinful, if it was evil, illegal or dirty - found there answers from church and set me on a path of emotional pain.

At this pivotal time in life - realising that I fancied boys, I learnt that I was evil and so emotionally I chose to shut down and tried everyday to be 'normal'.

As society became more accepting and more vocally positive, my prompts became confused and I was left stuck in the middle between my faith and the world in which I live.
It was only when I went to theological college that I started to explore my faith, to ask questions and dig a little at those pious statements like 'hate the sin, love the sinner'.

The place I'm in now is much more healthy, but I've struggled. I cannot emphasis enough the importance of what local churches and denominations as a whole say about sexuality. For the young in our churches it is vital to find a place that, if not accepting, can at least be questioning and open.

It is becoming clear that the gap between 'church' and society on this issue is broadening every day. This is not an argument to force the church to be accepting, as we are called to follow Christ and our decisions should be based on this. For me, the fact that I follow Christ is what makes me clear that we are called to be totally accepting of all people. I am created gay and my sexuality has much to offer the church!

This gap between church and society creates a huge problem for young gay Christians. Where do they find there prompts for life? Where do they find the building blocks for emotional well-being? What does there spiritual self have to say about sexuality?

Not in the church.

To dismiss homosexuality, to ignore it, to hope it is "not in our church" - does much more damage than we can imagine.

Equally - to say homosexuality is fine, "it's not a problem", does the same - it dismisses the questions and the difficulty of 'coming out'.

As people of faith - any faith, we are people of questions. We are people who are on a journey seeking to explore our humanity and our relationship with God. Our sexuality is not something beyond these questions!

My faith has become much more questioning and as a result has become less certain and much more vulnerable - but I think this is healthy and I think it is Christ like.

Our sexuality is one part of us - but an important part, as it is key to our emotional and relational selves. As the church, we need to be understanding of the impact we can have when we talk about or ignore this issue.

It's a rant - I know - but that's what blogging lets us do!!
Reflections welcome!!

Monday, 5 February 2007

Welcome to my world!

At last I have found the will to get blogging!

I've named it 'Out on Holy Ground' after a book by Donald L. Boisvert - a very useful exploration of Gay spirituality within and without the church.

To be honest - it's just a great title and seemed very fitting for the thoughts and ramblings that will follow.

This blog is Holy Ground for me and I hope to share my thoughts on the church at this critical time as we struggle so desperately, with the issues around human sexuality.

I was a minister in the URC (United Reformed Church) before I so spectacularly fell apart and am now well on the road to loving life afresh!

However hard life gets - there is hope - thank God!
Pious it may be - but true!

I hope you will excuse the cathartic element to this site but life's experience does shape the way we feel and know God.

So - welcome one and all - to my world.
Feel free to comment, reflect and do your own thinking as I lay my own frustrations and dreams before you!!