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A Sermon by Jon Swales at St George's Church,  Leeds
Words and voice- Jon SwalesMusic, Various 'Chris Sayburn' used with permission.A poetical exploration of the biblical story. See https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-lzptELp2r5yxsiv0Qm_J6pZRuTegky9jSvDmzSEC2k/edit?usp=sharing
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesMusic: Chris Sayburn 'Father' and ' Waves'Long ago,Many years before the beast of unrestrained capitalism roamed the land,The Great King,Remembered his sacred oath,And sent his Son,To proclaim and enact the Kingdom.To embark on a great mission of reconciliation and restoration.The long night was over,And the tender compassion of the King was made manifest,The image of the eternalEnfleshed,JesusTo him be all praise and glory.In him,The broken became beautiful  the rebellious gloriousthe cursed blessed As homesick exiles, East of Eden,  found their rest in him.For in himThe blind see, The lame walk,The demons tremble.As the rule and reign of the great King is embodied and enactedYet,Empires of Evil,Powers and the Principalities,Deceived by lies and the lust for power,Crucified the Eternal Son,And he lay silent in the grave.Will injustice triumph?Will death have the last word?Hours  went by.All seemed silentWill the Great King remember his sacred promise? Days went by,All seemed silent,Will the Great King King move with compassion?And love spoke into the darknessAnd there was light.  And life came into being. And the Great King Raised his Son to Life.And so many years later, Here we live and move and have our being. As covenant partners of the great King,We have pledegd our allegiance to his SonAnd we, living in the Anthropocene, Must improvise on the basis of our ancient story.These are indeed strange and difficult days,But love winsHope winsTo him be all praise and glory.
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesMusic: Chris Sayburn 'Waiting' Used with PermissionLong ago,Many years before the great migration and in an age when the rainforests flourished,The Great King rescued his people from the Empire of Egypt.With a strong and mighty hand,He demonstrated,Decisively,& definitively,That he was committed,And Is committed,To his compassionate covenant.The Greta King  remembered, rescued and redeemed his people,And gave them proximity and presence As they embarked on their servant calling,To tend & keep and be a light to the nations,Image bearing priest KingsAnd hope for the Cosmos.The Cosmic Temple.The covenant people,Gifted with law and land,And in that land,In the city of the Great King,A temple was built,And the glory of the Lord,The Spirit of Great King,Dwelt with his people.The covenant community,Called to compassion raised their voice,He is good, For his covenant  love endures forever.And we raise our voices,For he is good, for his covenant  love endures forever.And yet all was not well,The image-bearers did not reflect the image of the Great King,Deceived by lies and the lust for power. Covenant broken,East of EdenThe path of curse was chosen,As the people of purpose,Faced Exclusion.ExileFor they bowed the knee to the economy and evils of the Empire.And the Spirit of the Great King departed. Lord have mercy,Christ have mercyYet the prophets spoke,And longed and yearned,For the Return of the Great King,For the time of great Blessing,For the great reversal.Years went by.All seemed silentWill the Great King remember his sacred promise? Years went by,All seemed silent,Will the Great King King move with compassion?Then,The great king heard their cries,remembered his promise,and moved and acted.Love spoke,Hope sang,And the Great King Embarked on a rescue missionto liberate his covenant people.To him be all praise and glory.
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesMusic: Chris Sayburn 'Mountain Tops' - Used with PermissionAncient Story: Act III Covenant and Empire (Draft)Long ago, Many years before the oceans acidified and in an age when the great waters  teemed with life, The King made a sacred promise and Bound himself by solemn oath.Challenging the curse,The Great King,Entered into covenant,With Abraham and his descendants And blessed them to be a blessing.Challenging the curseThe Great King,Promised presence and proximityTo Abraham and his descendants And blessing to the scattered nations.But alas,The sacred tribe,Is trapped and tested,In the Empire of Egypt,Slaves to systems and structures of domination.Years went by.All seemed silentWill the great King remember his sacred promise? Years went by,All seemed silent,How long will the  Empire of Egypt & desires of domination enact injustice?Then,The great king heard their cries,remembered his promise,and moved and acted .Love spoke,Hope sang,And the Great King Embarked on a rescue missionto liberate his covenant people.To him be all praise and glory.
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesMusic: Used with permission Chris SayburnThe Ancient Story- Act I (Draft) Long ago, Many years before the Anthropocene, Long before the wars of empire and spiral of ecological ruinthe Spirit of the Great King hovered over the waters of the deep. All was silent for the earth was formless and void. And love spoke into the darknessAnd there was light.  And life came into being. Over six days the great King created other than himself.Forming and filling,Blessing the beautiful,Physicality bathed in holiness. A cosmic canvas,A glorious tapestry,A rich symphony,And he declared it to be good. On the sixth day the Great King  dignified the dust, soil became sanctified.A human being, A living soul.A living , breathing, animateimage of the invisible.Imago DeiImage of God.Receive a holy calling,To tend and keep,Guard and Protect.Imago Dei,Image of God.Receive a Holy callingTo enact and embrace the reign and rule of the great King,To serve as Priests of the High King of Heaven. On the Seventh day the great King Rested,For his work was done,He had a place to dwell.A place of presence and proximity,A Cosmic Temple.And the Great King declared it to be very good,And it is very  good.For it is his home,It is our home.To him be all praise and glory.The Ancient Story: Act II (Draft)Long ago, Many years before we were seduced by the beast of unrestrained capitalismOur ancestors,Full of possibility and potential,Betrayed their calling to tend and keep.Deceived by Lies and the lust for Power the beautiful became broken, the glorious rebellious the blessed cursed And humanity began its long walk as homesick exiles East of Eden. We built Babel,But this did not satisfy And we opened the door to sin.It has overwhelmed us.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.Yet the Great King Full of great love,Did not forsake his Cosmic TempleNor did he forget his plan for humanity totake up its calling to tend and keep,to be faithful and fruitful.As image-bearing  Priest Kings.Love spoke,Hope sang,And the Great King Embarked on a rescue missionto liberate his cosmic temple.To him be all praise and glory.
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesMusic: Used with permission  from Chris Sayburn 'Mountain Tops'Long ago, Many years before the Anthropocene, Long before the wars of empire and spiral of ecological ruinthe Spirit of the Great King hovered over the waters of the deep. All was silent for the earth was formless and void. And love spoke into the darknessAnd there was light.  And life came into being. Over six days the great King created other than himself.Forming and filling,Blessing the beautiful,Physicality bathed in holiness. A cosmic canvas,A glorious tapestry,A rich symphony,And he declared it to be good. On the sixth day the Great King  dignified the dust, soil became sanctified.A human being, A living soul.A living , breathing, animateimage of the invisible.Imago DeiImage of God.Receive a holy calling,To tend and keep,Guard and Protect.Imago Dei,Image of God.Receive a Holy callingTo enact and embrace the reign and rule of the great King,To serve as Priests of the High King of Heaven. On the Seventh day the great King Rested,For his work was done,He had a place to dwell.A place of presence and proximity,A Cosmic Temple.And the Great King declared it to be very good,And it is very  good.For it is his home,It is our home.To him be all praise and glory.- Swales, 2022
Feat: 'I will Rebel' by Alice Brencher,             'I can't stop climate breakdown' by Jon Swales            15 minute talk on civil disobedience by Jon Swales as part of a series of Climate Justice seminars.
Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil

2022-03-3003:12

Words and Voice: Jon SwalesPiano: Alice BrencherJust Stop Oil: A Prayer for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (Draft)Father of Creation, God of Compassion,You created a world of wonder, Of possibility and potential. You declared it to be good. For this we give thanks.To you be praise, honour and glory. Father of Creation, God of Compassion, This world is no longer as you intended it to be.Humanity has betrayed its calling To tend and keep. Creation groans. On our watch, We reap what we have sown, On our watch, Sea Levels rise. On our watch, Forests destroyed, On our watch, Extreme weather events increaseAnd so now with tears in our eyes we look to you, With regret, With repentance, Knowing the difficult decades that we face.Father of Creation,God of Justice,Do the angels long for justice?Do the cherubim and seraphim groan for peace?Do the saints who have gone before us cry for justice?If so, what do they cry?Perhaps they cry,For the end of fossil fuels,Perhaps they cry for economic structures and systems,To put people before profit,Perhaps they cry, ‘Just Stop Oil’Father of Creation,God of Justice,Does your church work for justice?Do church investments work for peace?Does church leadership speak truth to power?If so, why the silence?Perhaps the angels will be answered,Perhaps the church will wake upAnd perform, participate,and protest in a way that aligns with justice,Perhaps justice will cry out loud, ‘Just Stop Oil’Father of Creation, God of Compassion, You created a world of wonder, Of possibility and potential. You declared it to be good. For this we give thanks. To you be praise, honour and glory. Father of Creation, God of Compassion, This world is no longer as you intended it to be.Humanity has betrayed its calling To tend and keep.Creation groans. AmenSwales- 2022
Sermon by Rev'd Jon Swales at St George's Church Leeds, 27th March 2022This morning  as we come to church,To sing our songs,  and pray our prayers we do so in the context of a war in Europe. For many of us are hearts are heavy, and our souls are sad as butchery and barbarity have been unleashed at the command of Putin and the warmongers. Ukrainians suffer and die, 10 million are displaced from their homes.The forces of  Injustice and oppression appear overwhelming and we as a continent,as communities as individualscan find ourselves in place of disorientation and powerlessness. For some us here this morning, and here I want to recognise our Iranian brothers and sisters,this feeling of disorientation in the face of injustice is nothing new .Within our own community many carry  wounds as both the victims of the unjust actions of others and  as victims of systems of domination. In a world of injustice what can we as followers of Jesus do? I want to suggest that looking to scriptures and looking to Jesus can provide a much needed reframing of the issues of our day, My hope is that we can be reoriented , so that we can  face injustice with hope. That here this morning we would would be called afresh to be the justice shaped people of God who look to Jesus, and are empowered by the Spirit of Jesus, so that we can look and love like Jesus. So here goes, In the bible, justice has to do with setting the world to right. It is the opposite of injustice.  Justice stands against oppression, domination.and economic exploitationJustice stands with the poor and powerless and  speaks out for those without a voice Justice is the dream of the prophets, as the prophet Amos imagines the day ‘when justice will roll on like a mighty river’. Justice is also at the heart of God as Isaiah says ‘For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.’ and to know God is to do justice.  Justice  finds its place within love.  
Voice and Words: Jon SwalesMusic: Sad Piano by Free Use Music by Scott BuckleyLord Jesus Christ,In your Kingdom,Swords will be turned to ploughshares,And tears will be wiped away.Have mercy upon us,According to your unfailing love.Lord Jesus Christ,In our world,Cities are destroyed,Image bearers are butchered.Have mercy upon us.According to your unfailing love.The tears of Ukraine flow,Like a river,Gaining Strength.Have mercy upon us.According to your unfailing love.The injustice of Ukraine increases,As the waves of us war wash over Europe.Have mercy upon us,According to your unfailing love.Lord Jesus Christ,In your bloody execution,You identify with the victims of oppression,You weep beside the grave,Have mercy on us,According to your unfailing love.Lord Jesus Christ,In your glorious resurrection,We see that death and violence do not have the last word,That love itself wins.Let your Kingdom come. And so we plead,For the cessation of war,And the flourishing of peace,Let your Kingdom come.And do we beg,That the plans of Putin,And the machinations of evil,Would be stopped in their tracks.Let your Kingdom come.Lord Jesus Christ,In your kingdom,Swords will be turned to ploughshares,And tears will be wiped away.Have mercy upon us,According to your unfailing love.Amen
Words and Vocie: Jon SwalesMusic: Juan Sanchez Blue NightsFather of Creation,God of Justice,As bombs fall,Our hearts break,Lord have mercy. As tanks advance,Our souls are sad,Christ have mercy. You have placed upon humanity the possibility and potential to move towards love and justice,Yet, at Putin's command,Carnage & Catastrophe have been unleashed. Mariupol suffers,Lord have mercy.Innocents die,Christ have mercy.And so we pray for the downfall,Of despots and dictators,Cast down the mighty from their thrones.And so we pray for the economic ruin,Of the masters of war and machinations of evilCast down the mighty from their thrones.Let your divine favour,Rest upon those,Who work and move for peace,Let your divine favour,Rest upon those,Who work and move for justice.Father of Creation,God of Justice,We pray for the cessation of war,And the flourishing of peace.Amen
Words and Voice by Jon SwalesMusic:: Used with permission 'It pours' Chris Sayburn18: A Conspiracy of Compassion Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,We praise that you proclaimed the Kingdom of God,And demonstrated what this looked like byWelcoming the outcast, Feeding the hungry, Healing the sick,And speaking truth to power. You laid down your life as an act of self-giving sacrificial love. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,You offer a revolution called Love,A rebellion called Peace,A conspiracy of Compassion,That seeks to set the world to rights.You laid down your life as an act of self-giving sacrificial love. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,We live in a world of climate breakdown.We are facing a world of increased migration, refugees and those seeking asylum.We are facing a world of food shortage, malnutrition and starvation. Climate breakdown acts as a threat multiplier asTemperatures rise,Sea levels rise,Conflict increases,Extreme weather events increase.Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God We are vulnerable,We need your Kingdom.We are vulnerable, We need justice and peace.We are vulnerable,We need you to act, move, inspire, comfort.In this storm of climate breakdown, We ask that you would wake up.That you wouldWelcome the outcast,Feed the hungry,Heal the sick,Speak truth to power,Reign and rule with self-giving sacrificial love,Overthrow the works of the evil one,So that unrestrained capitalism would no longer destroy the world. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,You have called your church to be your body,We are your hands and feet. If we ask why you are not awake,It is because we are asleep. If we ask why you don’t speak,It is because we are silent. If we ask why oppression rules and reigns as a king,It is because we have not lived with self-giving sacrificial love. If we ask why the hungry starve and the stranger feels cut off,It is because our hearts, like stone, have not shown compassion.  Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,In a world of climate breakdown,Call us afresh to a kingdom conspiracy.A Conspiracy of Compassion. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,We pledge allegiance afresh to you. In a world of climate breakdown,We commit ourselves to a Conspiracy of Compassion,A Holy Revolution,A Holy Rebellion,Against anti-kingdom forces that come to steal, kill and destroy. We conspire with Love,For those who think they are forgotten. We conspire with Peace, For in a world of escalating conflict. We conspire with Truth, For a world in denial. We conspire with Hope, For a world in despair. Lord Jesus Christ,Son of the Living God,The butchered and risen lamb who rules and reigns,We conspire with your compassionate Kingdom.To you be all praise, honour and glory.Amen
Words and Voice: Jon Swales inc. various scriptures inc. Psalm 80Music.  Scot Buckley,  Classical Sad Music, Undertow (No copyright sound) A Prayer for Peace: Shine Forth, O Shepherd (Draft)Give ear,Listen to us,O Shepherd of your people. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim,Shine Forth.From the wolves of war,Rescue Us.From the beast of militarism,Deliver us.Restore us, O God;Let your face shine, that we may be saved!All we like sheep have gone astray,And colluded with empire and imperial intent.We have walked into the valley of the shadow of death.Have mercy upon us.From the schemes of Putin,Rescue us.From that with comes to steal, kill and destroy.Deliver us.We have opened the door,To the sin of Cain,And the Masters of War have grown powerfulThrough mechanised warfare on an industrial scale. Restore us, O God;Let your face shine, that we may be saved!Give ear,Listen to us,O Shepherd of your people.Ukraine eats the bread of tears.And we sit waiting, watching, wondering,Where will this end?From the escalation of conflict,Rescue us.From the threat of nuclear war,Deliver Us.Restore us, O God;Let your face shine, that we may be saved!We plead and beg,Good Shepherd,For the cessation of war and the flourishing of peace.Have mercy upon us. We are the people of your pasture,And the sheep of your right hand,Speak to us that we may hear your voice.Saying’‘Do not be afraid, little flock.’We are the people of your pasture,And the sheep of your right hand,Lead us beside quiet waters,Restore our souls.For those feeling violence,As Refugees,We ask that you would,Tend to your flock,Gather the lambs,Carry them in your bosom,And gently lead the nursing ewes.And we speak against,False Shepherds,For those church leaders who colluded with conquest,And the politics of Putin.Bring repentance and recalibration.That they may look and love like Jesus, byAligning with justice,Walking with mercy,And Speaking truth to power. From the wolves of war,Rescue Us.From the beast of militarism,Deliver us.Restore us, O God;Let your face shine, that we may be saved!Give ear,Listen to us,O Shepherd of your people. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim,Shine Forth.To him who sits upon the throne,And to the Lamb,Be all praise, honour and glory. Blessed are the peacemakers.Amen
Voice and Words: Jon SwalesPiano Alice BrencherA Prayer for Peace in Ukraine- Господи помилуй Lord have mercy (Draft)Father of Creation,God of Peace,The world has changed,And so have our hearts,As we face disappointment, disorientation and distressNot knowing what will happen next.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.Putin and the Masters of WarHave opened the door to the beasts of war,And it may overwhelm us.Who is like the beast?Who can fight against it?Yet our grief, anxiety and fear is nothing compared to that faced by ordinary people living in Ukraine.So we pray for,The brave and the scared,The soldier and civilian,The elderly and the newborn,Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy. And so we pray for,Those who have decided to fight,Those who have decided to flee,Those who resist but choose not to kill.Lord have mercy.Christ have mercy.And so we pray for Those who this day will be wounded,Those who this day will die,Those who this day will mourn. Lord have mercy,Christ have mercyFather of Compassion,God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,We look to you,In a world at war,For hope, healing and help,For grace, goodness and guidance,For the cessation of war and the flourishing of peace.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy. Father of Peace,God of Hope, After crucifixion,Your Son was laid silent in the grave,And then you spoke and he was raised to life.Violence does not win,It will not have the last word,Death does not win,It will not have the last word.In the reconciliation of all things,War will be no more.In the reconciliation of all things,All tears will be wiped away.In the reconciliation of all things,There will be a tree for the healing of the nations. Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.Hospody pomyluy,Christ have mercy. Amen
I will Rebel

I will Rebel

2022-03-0802:06

Words and Voice: Alice BrencherMusic by Chris Sayburn 'Waiting'. Used withe Permission
Words and Voice: Rev'd Jon SwalesMusic. Classical Sad Piano [No Copyright Sound] [FREE USE MUSIC] - Scott Buckley - Undertow (320 kbps).mp3Father of Creation,The Covenant God who spoke of blessing to the nations,We weep anxious tears,Not only for Ukraine,But also with a forboding fear,Of what may be.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy. Father of Creation,God and Father  of our Lord Jesus Christ,Within the storm of war,We long to hear afresh the words of your Son, saying‘Do not be afraid’We long to hear the the words of your Son, saying  ‘Be still, The War is over,Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.And so we pray,For Russian soldiers to lay down their swords,For Tanks fueled by violent intent to stop in their tracks,For missiles and bomb to fail to detonateLord have mercy,Christ have mercy.We conspire with compassion,And hope against hope,For the cessation of violence, &The flourishing of peace. Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.And so we pray,For the hurt and the wounded,The scared and the brave,For Ukraine and Russia.For mercy and grace.And so we pray,For world leaders,Those fleeing for their lives,Those moving at the command of the violent warmongers,For mercy and grace. We conspire with compassion,And hope against hope,For the cessation of violence, &The flourishing of peace. Lord have mercy,Christ have mercyAnd so we pray against nuclear threats,Against the trigger of terror,And the the barbarity of man.Lord have mercyChrist have mercyFather of Creation,God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,Your Son said to ‘love our enemies’And lived and loved with self giving sacrificial love,May we too, whatever the cost,Be those who are blessed for making peace.God, our refuge and strength,bring near the day when wars shall cease and poverty and pain shall end,that earth may know the peace of heaven through Jesus Christ our LordAmen
Words and Voice: Jon SwalesPiano: Alice Brencher.A Prayer for Peace: Heaven’s Sabotage (Draft)Father of Creation,God of the Nations,We cry out to you,A litany of lament,A heart song of sadness As we witness war &The death and destruction it brings.Father of Creation,God of Hope,We cry out to you,With sad souls and heavy heartsAs we witness Putin and the beast of violence,Enacting catastrophe and embracing carnage.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy. What have we become? What have we done?As women prepare molotovs,Children hide in basements,As tear stained cheeks wave goodbye,Whilst Homes and hearts and humans are hounded by an embodied evil.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.We have stood by as the masters of war,Amassed armaments and armies,Weapons of woe,Deigned to main, kill and destroyLord have mercy Christ have mercyAnd so we pray for the city Kyiv,And plead and beg for mercy,Draw close to those who hear things that should not be heard,Comfort and enfold them in your love.Draw close to those who witness things that should never be witnessed,Comfort and enfold them in your love.Draw close to those who face a pain that should never be faced,Comfort and enfold them in your loveAnd so we pray for cessation of war and the end to all  hostility.We plead and beg for peace. That  heavens sabotage would still the sound of tanks and bombsThat heavens sabotage would silence the drums of war and carnageThat heavens sabotage would confuse those with intent to take the lives of innocentsLord have mercy,Christ have mercy.We conspire with compassionTo a revolution called loveIn which justice is embodiedAnd war will be no moreGod, our refuge and strength,bring near the day when wars shall cease and poverty and pain shall end,that earth may know the peace of heaven through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A Prayer for Peace: Ukraine and the Healing of the NationsWords: Jon SwalesMusic: Used with Permission, Chris Sayburn 'Distance'Father God,God of Compassion,In your kingdom there is a tree,For the healing of the nations.In your kingdom, Tears will be turned to joy,Swords into ploughshares And war will be no more.Let your kingdom come,Your will be done.In Ukraine as it is in heaven.Father of Creation,God of compassion,The unthinkable has happened,As tanks roll into market squares.Threatening not only the lives of defiant Ukrainians but also the well being and future of every European citizen.Lord have mercy,Christ have mercy.Blessed are the peacemakers.Let your kingdom come,Your will be done.In Ukraine as it is in heaven.Father of Creation, Is heaven silent?Are you asleep?Do you care? We have asked that you step in and save and rescue,And put an end to war. Yet, Our prayers remain unanswered, The tanks roll on and on.Yet, our prayers remain unanswered, As children are both scared and scarred Yet, our  prayers remain unanswered,As the death toll risesFather of Creation,God of compassion,With our questions we look again to your kingdom,And plead that heavens resources,Would be poured out.And beg that heavens angelic hostsWould be deployed.In darkness,Let there be light,In hopelessness ,Let there be hope,In a world at war,Let there be peace . Lord have mercyChrist have mercyBlessed are the peacemakersLet your kingdom comeYour will be done.In Ukraine as it is in heaven.Father of Creation,God and Father of out Lord Jesus Christ,In your Son,You have shown clearly and decisively,That violence will not have the last word,That love itself will win.We ask that this hope,Would not simply be a future dream,But that it would break into the present,And be tasted and enacted in the here and now,That this war would cease. Lord have mercyChrist have mercyBlessed are the peacemakersLet your kingdom comeYour will be done.In Ukraine as it is in heavenFather God,God of Compassion,In your kingdom there is a tree,For the healing of the nations.In your kingdom, Tears will be turned to joy,And swords into ploughshares And war will be no more.Amen
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