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The hymns and songs in this collection are inspired by the Belhar Confession. These songs can be used in worship services to help your church reflect on, praise God for, and commit to embodying the love, reconciliation, unity, and justice of Christ.

By Word and Spirit

Lyrics and music by Paul Janssen, 2007

Lyrics:

Refrain: By Word and Spirit, God gathers us, and protects with God’s care, in ev’ry land, in ev’ry tongue, this gift of unity we share.

We say No! To the powers that threaten to divide us, we say Yes! To God’s calling to live in the light; unto God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lift your song; and let God’s righteousness flow freely through the ages long. Refrain

We shall love one another in joyful communion, for we need one another to grow up into Christ; unto Creator, Christ, and Holy Spirit lift your song; and let God’s righteousness flow freely through the ages long. Refrain

We shall broadcast the gospel of peace to all peoples, we shall live the new heaven and earth, here and now; unto God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lift your song; and let God’s righteousness flow freely through the ages long. Refrain

We shall live with the poor, not as lords, but companions, we shall stand where God stands, so that justice may roll! unto God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit lift your song; and let God’s righteousness flow freely through the ages long.

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God Calls Us to Stand

Lyrics and music by Paul Janssen, 2008

Lyrics:

Verse 1: God calls us to stand as one people, no matter our language or race, for Christ is our peace, who made us one, and gathers us still in his grace:

Refrain: So let us stand, brothers and sisters, say “Yes” to the Spirit’s call; join hands, fellow believers, and embrace God’s vision for all!

Verse 2: God calls us to stand by our rivals, reconciled, giving peace a new birth; our anger laid down at the foot of the cross, we declare God’s new heaven and earth. Refrain

Verse 3:  God calls us to stand with the lowly, bringing justice, and setting them free, with Christ where he stands, proclaiming with him the year of our Lord’s jubilee: Refrain

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In Christ’s Name

Lyrics by David Alexander, All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of “Rainy Night Flower,” a Taiwanese folk song

Hymn lyrics:

The Triune God gathers and protects and gives care to the church on earth. Word and Spirit are God’s instruments from beginning to the end. 

The one church is universal, the communion of the saints. Called from the entire human family, holy, Christian, by God’s grace. 

To each other reconciled in Christ, a community of faithful folk. Joined in union, bound by the Holy Ghost, this we earnestly pursue. 

Neither race class nor ethnicity can divide us each from all. To impede this basic unity is a sin against God’s call. 

We believe God has entrusted reconciliation to the church As the salt of the earth, as light of the world, in obedience to the word. 

We believe that God is best revealed standing squarely among the poor. Fight injustice and oppression, that’s religion which is pure. 

Follow Christ who goes before us, stand beside him facing earthly pow’rs. Point out greed and selfish interests that control and harm the poor. 

We are called in Christ to witness and to act on the things we claim. Even when the law forbids us we’re empowered in God’s name.

Manifesting Jesus

Lyrics by David Alexander. All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of Arnsberg, public domain

Hymn lyrics:

We believe the Father, Son and Holy Spirit gather and protect the One church from the human fam’ly, universal holy, into the communion of saints. From of old, to the end, manifesting Jesus, who forever frees us. 

Gift and obligation, unity in action, visible as witness that Christ banished separation, conquered sin and hatred, made us one in spirit and mind. Eat one bread, drink one cup, manifesting Jesus who for freedom frees us. 

Reconciliation, every land and nation, every race and kindred and tribe, through God’s word and Spirit people all inherit possibility for new life. Banish fear, God is here, manifesting Jesus who from terror frees us. 

Stand against injustice, follow Christ in mission, feed the hungry, lift the oppressed. Seek the poor and orphan, feed the hungry stranger, this the fast that God says is blest. Stand, oppose greed and woes, manifesting Jesus who for justice frees us. 

Fear no persecution for the Lord is with you, though the pow’rs of law you oppose. Jesus, too, was slandered, scorned and mocked and beaten, hung upon the cross by his foes. God’s the law, we obey, manifesting Jesus who for service frees us.

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One for the World

By John Chisum and Eric Schrotenboer

Lyrics:

Verse 1. One bread, one cup, one name above all. One hope, one prayer, we come together. Let the whole world see, and feel the love of God. One for the world. One for the Savior. United in love, now and forever. Break down the walls. Joining together, in God’s love we are one, one for the world. 

Verse 2. One Lord, one call, one Savior of all. One soul, one song, we sing together. Let the whole world see, and feel the love of God. One for the world. One for the Savior. United in love, now and forever. Break down the walls. Joining together, in God’s love we are one, one for the world. 

Refrain
(Call and response, indicated in parentheses, on second and third times)

Let the whole world see and feel the love of God, (Let justice roll down) Let the whole world see and feel the love of God (and righteousness). Repeat.

Let the whole world see and feel the love of God. One for the world. One for the Savior. United in love, now and forever. Break down the walls. Joining together, in God’s love we are one, one for the world.  

Let the whole world see and feel the love of God (Let justice roll down).

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Since the Beginning of the World

Lyrics by David Alexander, Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of “O Waly, Waly,” Scottish folk tune, 18th century, public domain

Hymn lyrics:

Verse 1. Since the beginning of the world one triune God protects the church. By Word and Spirit this is done, and will be so until the end. 

Verse 2. The gift of unity is shown as witness to the world abroad, by means of willing, joyful faith and service to the least of all. 

Verse 3. The pow’rs of sin and enmity in Christ are conquered totally. To reconcile us each to all, this mission is the church’s call. 

Verse 4. For justice God has been revealed, the church for justice God has sealed, to stand with those who have been wronged, to join the voiceless in their song. 

Verse 5. We must obey the Church’s head, Jesus, the Christ whom we confess. Though human pow’rs and laws forbid, still we must walk the way he led.

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Since We Believe, So We Reject

Lyrics by David Alexander, All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of Azmon (“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing”), public domain.

Hymn lyrics:

Since we believe, so we reject things we by faith despise. Obeying Christ the church’s head oppose sin’s ev’ry guise. 

The gift of Christian unity an obligation is. To not pursue its fullness would be sinful to commit.

The message we’re entrusted with is to be reconciled. So we expel from our belief all motive to divide. 

God calls the church to mission in an unjust broken world. So that which stands against God’s cause we’ll work to overthrow. 

Obeying Christ, her only head, the church responds to God. No human law can overrule the calling of the Lord.

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The Triune God Protects the Church

Lyrics by David Alexander, All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of “If You Believe and I Believe,” a traditional Zimbabwean song

Hymn lyrics:

The triune God protects the church, by Word and Spirit cares. So God has done since earth began and will do to the end. Together in the Lord, our unity restored, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost have called us to this end. 

One holy universal church from all the human race is called by God to unity which we must all attain. One calling, soul and mind, one spirit bread and wine, confess one name, obey one Lord, all reconciled in Christ. 

Since God entrusted to the church the message, “reconcile,” salt of the earth, light of the world, we witness in our lives. But credibility is compromised when we by separating into groups deny our unity. 

God is revealed as One who wishes justice and true peace. So where the poor and hungry gather God is found with these, restoring sight to blind, uplifting humankind. The gospel drives us to oppose all selfish human greed. 

Obeying Christ our only head the church is called to say that earthly laws and powers must to Jesus all give sway. Opposing the unjust, if suffering we must, it is no loss to bear the cross and follow in Christ’s way

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Unity, Reconciliation, and Justice

Lyrics by David Alexander, All rights reserved.
Music: Set to the tune of Mayenziwe, a traditional South African song

Hymn lyrics:

The triune God protects the church that has been gathered on the earth since the beginning of the world and will be so until its end, and will be so until its end. 

The unity we manifest, a gracious gift we here attest, has made us one, and we are blest. By faith alone we’ve been made one. By faith alone we’ve been made one. 

By word and deed we testify that through Christ’s work we’re reconciled. All separations laid aside, all selfishness and hate denied, all selfishness and hate denied. 

The Church belongs to God alone and stands with all who have been wronged opposing all who seek their own, and bring the poor to greater harm, and bring the poor to greater harm. 

Obeying Christ the church’s head, we all are called and we confess. We fear no earthly consequence. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, are praised and honoured uppermost.

Grace Ruiter is digital content coordinator for the Reformed Church in America.