I was reading John Bell’s new book Thinking Out Loud: Collected Scripts from Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day’ (2008). It concludes with an auto-biographical reflection on “Politics, Passion and the Human Soul” in which, commenting on the “heresy of dualism”, John observes: “Undoubtedly religious vocabulary exacerbates the situation... I mean when did anyone ever sing: ‘Praise to Jesus in the kitchen’?”Kim decided to rectify this situation with—what else?—a hymn! I post it here now for your reading (and, hopefully, singing) pleasure. Also, you’ll notice that the hymn is especially suited for this blog, The Fire & the Rose. My sincere thanks to Kim for this fine hymn.
Praise to Jesus in the kitchen
(Tune: Oh My Darling, Clementine)
By Kim Fabricius
Praise to Jesus in the kitchen,
in a mansion or a flat,
pitch or pub or children’s playpen –
where we are is where he’s at.
In the boardroom and the City,
on the dole and in the slums,
here in judgement, there in pity,
suddenly the Saviour comes.
With the sick, and sad, and lonely,
in the hospice, on the street,
Servant Son, the one and only,
kneels and washes weary feet.
Concentration camps and prisons,
scenes of torture and despair,
sickening sights on television:
pick a place – the Lord is there!
Into death and hell descending,
Christ the fellow-sufferer goes,
purges pain that seems unending,
knots the fire and the rose.*
High in heaven, Christ ascended,
far beyond the farthest stars,
no one, nowhere, unbefriended –
where he’s at is where we are!
*All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one
– T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”