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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hugs from Hughes for the Poor

Tim Hughes, is a Christian worship leader and songwriter. He is Director of Worship for the Anglican Holy Trinity Brompton Church, central London, and a well-known worship leader across many other denominations. His worship songs “Here I am to worship” and “Beautiful One” are among many of his compositions sung each week in churches around the world.

Recently, Hughes, began mixing the theme of social justice with the ministry of worship. “As we read the Bible, we see so clearly God’s heart for the poor,” Hughes explains. “It ranks second only to idolatry as the most popular theme in the Old Testament. And in the New Testament, one in 10 verses relate to poverty, justice, or wealth. So if you take these themes out of the Bible, you’re left with a very, very thin book!”

Justice, in fact, began as a value in Hughes’ from during his earliest memories. “My parents always had a sense of loving the poor and the marginalized,” he explains. “My dad’s a vicar, and I remember vividly as a kid every Christmas the church ran a lunch outreach for the elderly, the homeless, and those who just didn’t have families. I remember we’d peel potatoes and serve food and drinks to people. In one sense it kind of felt strange: ‘Why aren’t we home opening our presents?’ But the concept of an outward Christian faith really stuck with me.”

Hughes has sees more clearly than ever the link between justice and worship. “I was involved in a mission to London called Soul in the City and there saw 10,000 young people come together to spend 10 days reaching out to the community. We picked up litter, painted old houses, organized sports for underprivileged kids, played late-night cafes and gigs for unbelievers. And when we gathered together to worship through song, there was an amazing depth to our worship. It felt like God was pleased with us because we weren’t just singing the songs; we were actually living a life of worship that was making a difference to those around us.”

Here are the lyrics of a relatively new song, composed in 2007 by Tim Hughes, inspired by his compassion for the poor:

"God of Justice"

God of Justice, Saviour to all
Came to rescue the weak and the poor
Chose to serve and not be served

Jesus, You have called us
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

We must go live to feed the hungry
Stand beside the broken
We must go
Stepping forward keep us from just singing
Move us into action
We must go

To act justly everyday
Loving mercy in everyway
Walking humbly before You God

You have shown us, what You require
Freely we’ve received
Now freely we will give

Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out
Fill us up and send us out Lord
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