1 When at first the word was spoken
God's good Spirit gave it voice,
breathed it out through faithful servants,
named and called by sovereign choice.

2 When the word was heard and written,
copied by each ready scribe,
sacred text became the treasure
prized by every Hebrew tribe.

3 When the word was learned and pondered
priest and prophet found its power,
as the Spirit winged its message
for a nation's crisis hour.

4 When the word was scorned and flouted,
God's agreement thrown aside,
Jesus Christ fulfilled its purpose,
spoke and suffered, lived and died.

5 When the word was sown and planted
by the friends the Master chose,
news of hope reached every people:
'For our sins he died, and rose!'

6 When the word is preached among us,
spoken loud and clear today,
Judge and Saviour, help us listen,
hear, repent, believe, obey!

Christopher Idle
© Christopher Idle/Jubilate Hymns Ltd
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