Fire is the colour of the eastbound sun
lighting the face of the dusty sky.
Ash is the colour of this roadwork black,
of tarmac where the plane lost flight.
Red is the colour of the traffic light,
gold the colour in the new day’s eye,
and ash to ash is this road we drive;
no dust be lost today.
No mirror to reflect,
no voice, only dust,
sculpted by hands,
crafted by plan.
No self-stirring spirit,
no knowledge, no thrust,
only dust, fingerprinted,
moulded – with tears
and with blood and with sweat –
now we stand,
heart and body,
Run, speedy feet,
and kick up dust.
Kick up, gather: dust we are.
O dust, return. Be turned.
Be gathered, sheep;
make ready feet.
Unglamorous and matted, poor:
gather all. All dusty sheep, return.
You gather dust,
and send us out, in cloud of dust.
For dust we are;
O dust, return,
What warmth I hide in will soon grow cold.
All Peter’s false fires, Adam’s cloak of leaves,
will burn out, fade, and leave nakedness in ash.
Clothe me. My shame is always before me.
Nothing hides from Your sight
what should be white, yet’s stained like blood.
O God. I stand –
You are enough. You are enough.
Lay me down –
slow me down and lay me down
upon the Cross, in Jesus’ hands.
Slow my heart and silence all
the numb self-serving of my pleas;
stifle pride, unlock the clench
of fists deep in this fickle dust.
Lay me down, my soul;
my soul in Jesus’ hands. Their scars
have room enough for me.
Dust I am, precious Lord.
Though well-adorned in rags of self,
underneath I am dry bone.
Daily I wander in search of glory:
fine silks to wrap my pride;
jewels to garnish ears that do not hear;
softest leather to shoe rock-still feet.
What can clothe a heart of stone?
What perfume can disguise rotting flesh?
O Lord, I am but dust; I cling
to the roof of the earth, a cloying taste.
O gather my dust; assemble my rags;
Only in You can life be made.
Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!…Tell of his salvation from day to day.
(Psalm 96:1, 2b)
Old songs rot in dead ears;
Old ruts of thought declare:
That was not me I will try harder
I had no choice
That’s just the person that I am…
To fudge is human; to change is divine.
The former things are dying;
Listen to this newest song,
The freshest song to sound in years:
All your dead deeds will crumble, fade,
yet there’s a God who gladly saves
and in the stars’ ancient dust He calls forth light…
Turn; sing to Him from your dust heap
your morning Son,
your great Ancient of Days…
J.S. Bach: Motet BWV 225 ‘Singet dem Herrn’ – Vocalconsort Berlin