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Free hymn in support of asylum seekers

Permission is given for free use of this hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, including in online worship services.

Holy Family by Kelly Latimore. Reproduction rights purchased by Presbyterian Outlook.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday, December 28 allowed Title 42 expulsions, which were set to end this month, to continue instead. Title 42 has been used by the federal government to expel asylum seekers without a hearing since March 2020. Diana Kearney, senior legal advisor at the nonprofit Oxfam America, commented: “The Supreme Court’s decision to resuscitate Title 42 is not based on our laws but rather on our country’s worst xenophobic impulses. This cruel ruling ignores our nation’s legal obligations to respect fundamental human rights and exposes some of the world’s most vulnerable people to incredible violence.”

The following hymn was completed on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, based on the Gospel story (Matthew 2:13-18) in the Revised Common Lectionary for January 1, 2023.

“Mary, Joseph! Take Young Jesus!”
BEACH SPRING (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)

“Mary, Joseph! Take young Jesus! Flee from where you cannot stay!
Soldiers seek the child, to kill him! Cross the border! Run away!”
Weary from long miles of walking, Joseph, Mary, full of grace,
hugged young Jesus, hoping, trusting God would give a safer place.

God, this story daily happens more than we can understand —
Heed the danger! Save the children! Flee a much-beloved land!
Seek a land that might give welcome! Raise a family without fear!
Cross the border, hoping, trusting some will show compassion here.

Christ, we wonder at the meaning, that your family had to flee.
How can we show love and welcome to the poor, the refugee?
What’s our calling as a nation, when — a stranger — you arrive,
simply seeking our compassion so your family can survive?

See the Holy Family fleeing! Would we make our border tight?
Hear a child and parents crying, turned away into the night.
God of love, now show our nation what you’re calling us to do
so that strangers may be welcomed — so you will be welcomed, too.

Biblical References: Matthew 2:13-18, Matthew 25:31-46
Tune: The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White  (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)
Text: Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

Permission is given for free use by churches in worship services (in person and online) to use this hymn. Please share it with other church pastors and musicians in the hopes it will help build support for churches caring about refugees.

Here is a great resource: The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (to which the PC(USA) belongs) is made up of over 55 national, faith-based organizations brought together across many theological traditions with a common call to seek just policies that lift up the God-given dignity of every individual. In partnership, they work to protect the rights, dignity, and safety of all refugees and migrants.

For sheet music: “Mary, Joseph! Take young Jesus!”