O Host
And Welcomer of all,
Coming as a signal to
All enquiring peoples,
Spreading the wide corners
Of your tent over
Wolf and lamb (and piglet) alike;
Prey and predator
Distrusted and distrustful
The guilty and afraid:

Will we leopards
Really lie down, untempted,
With the goats whose young
Our habits and policies
Have consumed?
Will we calves rest together
With the lions our parents
Taught us to dread? And will
Any of us allow a little child
To lead us?

Come, feed us, satiate us,
We pray. Destroy our hunger,
Our predatory instincts,
Our habitual prioritising of
our needs (and those of our young)
Over others’ lives.
Fill our world with abundance
(With the knowledge of the Lord –
He of mercies and new births –
Whose waters cover the sea),

That our nests too,
Our homes, our towns,
Our nations, our churches,
Like the asp’s,
might become as safe,
As hospitable, as welcoming
To the innocent and vulnerable,
The curious yet fearful,
As yours (glorious dwelling of
Zion) always is,

Welcoming one another
As Christ has welcomed us:
Arms and voices outstretched:
Life in harmony with one another
With the spheres’ music
With one voice
To glorify the God and Father
Of him who holds
All things, all people
Together.

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