The Fruit of Charity (hymn)
(unison voices, keyboard) 3'30"
Jesus' words, "I am the Vine, you are the branches" (John 15), newly paraphrased and set to original tune and harmonization.
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This is the second hymn commission by Reverend Eric Haugan. He asked me to compose a hymn to honor the 25th anniversary of his ordination. It was introduced at his congregation, Faith United Church in Winthrop, Minnesota in October of 2007. The text, by Christine Kallman, is printed below.
I am the Vine, you are the living branches,
Abide in me, as I in you abide.
Bound in my love securely for one purpose,
All that you give is greatly multiplied.
I am the lifeblood of the tree;
stay forever joined with me
to bear the fruit of charity.
I look for justice but find only bloodshed,
for righteousness but hear a tortured cry.
Your neighbor craves the taste of lovingkindness
Christ-centered hearts' compassion can supply.
Have I not bid you care for one another,
sharing the love my life and death revealed,
eager to serve each sister and each brother,
glad for the good your sacrifice may yield?
When in my love your lives are wholly planted,
outpouring grace refreshes like the rain,
expectant green of budding hope is granted,
the Kingdom work is nourished and sustained.
Sing and rejoice, forgiven and forgiving,
spreading the feast prepared for all to eat!
These gifts release with jubilant thanksgiving,
trusting my promise of a joy complete!