A prize that won't perish,
a race to be run:
our service wholehearted
till victory is won.
We shall not keep silent,
nor flee from God's call:
the torch of salvation
we'll carry to all.
Your love shining bright on every street,
your Spirit is near;
your word as a light to guide our feet,
we'll run without fear.
A relay of peace from hand to hand,
your praises we'll bring!
Your glory increase in every land,
Christ Jesus our King!
The Games of the ancients
caused battles to cease,
as messengers summoned
each city in peace.
Now as the world gathers,
may God's peace be known:
in Christ reconciling
and claiming his own.
Committed to service
in word and in deed,
our lives an inscription
that runners may read.
As towns upon hillsides
no shadow obscures,
Lord, make of our witness
a light that endures.
Words: © Dominic Grant © July 2012 (written in time for the Olympic Torch to pass through the area south of Royal Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex, where Dominic is a minister)
Metre: 6565.D with refrain 9595.D
Suggested Tune: theme from “Chariots of Fire” by Vangelis [available to listen to here – but use of original recording likely to breach copyright]
Dominic alludes to a number of biblical texts in this hymn, from the letters of St Paul to the words of the ancient prophets. He notes in particular:
- 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27 (St Paul expands on running and boxing analogies)
- Isaiah 62: 1 (the prophet's determination to vindicate Zion-Jerusalem)
- Psalm 119: 105 (God's Word lights our path)
- 2 Corinthians 5: 19 (St Paul preaches a message of reconciliation)
- Habakkuk 2: 2 (the prophet delivers a divine vision, including the demand that it be recorded clearly enough for a runner-messenger to share it with others)
- Matthew 5: 14-16 ("let your light shine")
For more hymns with a ‘sporting’ theme, see our article This sporting life.