The Shower Stoles Project The National LGBTQ Task Force

Donate  Search

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

Shower of Stoles Project

Email this pagePrint this page

Worship Resources

I Will Never Turn Away

TEXT: Richard Spalding, © 2003
(suggested tunes – BEACH SPRING or RAQUEL)

In the desert where they’d wandered                                 (Gen. 15:1-6)
with a billion stars in view,
Abraham and Sarah pondered
how the promise could be true.
Though at first to hope seemed folly,
in the night they heard God say,
“Every star’s a child of promise
I will never turn away.”

With a majesty that stunned her                                          (Luke 1:26-38)
as she prayed for grace to share
Came a word on wings of wonder
as an answer to a prayer.
Mary magnified the message:
“Let it be just as you say –
From the birth of Love Incarnate
I will never turn away.”

In a time of strife and blindness                                            (John 1:10-13)
to the welter of the world
Came a man whose Godly kindness
bore the pain of curses hurled                                              (Isaiah 53:3-5)
Love unbowed raised up the loveless,
as each one heard Jesus say,
“All who come to me believing                                            (John 6:37)
I will never turn away.”

To the bearer of Christ’s mission -                                        (John 21:15-17)
“Feed my sheep in every place” –
Was entrusted a revision                                                        (Acts 10:9-16)
of the breadth of God’s embrace.
Though at first such grace seemed reckless,
Peter heard the Spirit say,
“Every life made clean by loving
I will never turn away.”

With a flagrant faith, impassioned
by a still more noble way                                                         (I Cor.12:31)
An apostle’s pen refashioned
the devotion of his day.
“Hearts of faith contain this treasure
(though it’s held in jars of clay):
Every soul whose joy is Jesus                                                     (Phil.4:4-7)
He will never turn away.”

To the fragile, fateful beauty
of the fractious human race
Comes a church whose joyful duty
is to wield this word of grace:
Male and female, poor and wealthy,                                     [Gal. 3:28]
Every color, straight and gay,
All who seek to find this Kingdom                                            [Matt. 6:33]
Christ will never turn away!

And the gentiles, and the lowly                                              (Eph. 2:11-13)
those ignored and those in chains,
Those reviled or thought unholy
trust the Love that lives and reigns.
Even now we hear their voices
sighing with us as we pray –                                                      (Rom. 8:26-28)
“Jesus, we are those you promised
You would never turn away.”

Text © 2003 by the Rev. Richard E. Spalding. Permission granted for liturgical use. The author requests notification when the hymn is used:

Permission was granted to the Shower of Stoles Project to post this hymn on our web site.

Visit the
Shower of Stoles Project
Online Exhibition!

Organizational Partners

Affirm United/S'affirmer Ensemble The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists Brethren-Mennonite Council for LGBT Concerns Open and Affirming Ministries of the Gay, Lesbian & Affirming Disciples (GLAD) Integrity Reconciling Works
More Light Presbyterians Open and Affirming Program of the United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns (ONA) Reconciling Ministries Network Room for All - Reformed Church in America Welcoming Community Network - Community of Christ