Within God's hands (website only)

Festivals and Seasons:
Special Sundays:
Remembrance Sunday

Within God's hands

dark-clouds-istock-5138758901. Dark clouds may come and block out all our sunlight.
We feel alone; neglected or unheard.
Within God's hands, we find a place of safety;
where we are known, and loved for who we are.
Within God's hands, we take our rest and comfort;
regain our strength, prepared to serve afresh.

2. We have our doubts, we shout our disagreements,
our heartfelt views can threaten common bonds.
But as God's Church, we work for what unites us:
the love of Christ; the grace that reaches all.
And as God's Church, we join our hands together,
walking with God, in humble, joyful steps.

3. The news proclaims: the world is ever bleaker.
The ravaged earth, the wars, disease, and hate.
And yet that voice which whispers through the stillness,
calls us to hope, to trust in God alone.
That Holy voice, the Spirit deep within us,
awaking prayer and action in God's name.

4. For God is Lord, the universe-creator,
the Holy one, inspiring awe and praise.
God's love will reign, that Love that came among us,
Immanuel, God's love in human form.
God's love will reign, and we will see God's glory;
as one, in wholeness for eternity.

Words © Jon Skeet

Tune: Finlandia (StF 419 or 621)



Ideas for use

This is a hymn with wide application (see the categories listed to the left). Though it addresses times of difficulty, disagreement and doubt, it's a hymn that, at its heart, sings of the all encompassing, embracing love of God. Consider using it, for example, during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity; as well as other occasions, including Remembrance Sunday, or when questions of diversity and inclusion are being considered.

More information

Jon Skeet describes Within God’s hands as a pandemic hymn. He started writing it in November 2020, during the second Covid lockdown, and at a time before the vaccination rollout had begun. Faced with delivering a service that would be distributed across his Methodist circuit, he writes: “I was worried about the mental health impact of a dark, cold month in the shadow of a disease which didn't look like it was going away any time soon. I also had in my mind the God In Love Unites Us report, with my personal hopes for a more inclusive Church, but fears around division as well.”

Jon writes: “I'm a strong believer in acknowledging our doubts and struggles, even as we hold on to our faith in God who is loving, comforting and empathetic. Pretending we're fine when we're not is unhelpful, but we do have a source of hope. The hymn attempts to hold these in balance, with a scope that expands from the personal in verse 1, to the Church in verse 2, into the wider world in verse 3. The final verse is purely positive, however – an attempt to reflect the eventual, eternal and total triumph of God's love over all adversity and division. My aim was to offer a hymn which would meet people where they are, recognising any anxieties they may have, but leave them uplifted and secure in the knowledge of God's unconditional love.”

jon-skeetDeliberately, the words do not rhyme. Jon comments that the tune (Finlandia) has “a strange, melancholy hopefulness to it which I wanted to preserve, and which I felt rhyming might diminish”. Rather, the repetition in the tune at the start of lines 3 and 5 in each verse is reflected in the words as well. “The three beats on the same note give a strident, defiant feel – which marks the start of the more optimistic tone in each of the first three verses.”

Jon Skeet

Jon describes himself as a Methodist local preacher, husband, father, feminist and software engineer – “with all of those aspects of his life influencing the others”.

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