1. Included,
you and me and everybody comprehensively embraced by
the love of the unrestrictive God of all.

With Jesus
we are wanted, we're accepted. We are never segregated or hated; we're all incorporated in him.

But they say they don't want her to be here, she's trouble,
she gets on their nerves.
She speaks a different language, she's noisy, an ethnic.
What's more, she's got a daughter who's possessed by a devil!

2. But we're included
in the new improved creation.
We are Jesus' renovations; he's fixed us, and we're completely overhauled.

With Jesus
we're no longer out of order.
We're no longer on the border,
we're inside the most amazing land of all.

But we say we won't share it
with strangers;
they make us feel so insecure.
It doesn't matter if they're hungry, or lonely, or desperate.
Why don't they find a place
of their own where they can go?
Included, you and me.... incorporated in him.

1990. Written for the St Stephen's student service in September, where the theme, based on the story of the Syro-Phoenecian woman, was 'Send her away'. Jesus is not for a cosy, inside club, but for every and any outsider in society. Often easier to acknowledge than to practise, it's the essence of the good news: God becomes a human in order to gather in all of us outsiders. For me 1990 marked a new phase in my songwriting, where I much more consciously sought fresh images, usually making use of both a thesaurus (Macquarie's) and a rhyming dictionary. 'Included' was one of the first songs to emerge from this process.


Thanks ...

Last Monday, November 19, I got back home after a 4 week trip, mostly in Queensland.Only possible because of
Ray Shillabeer.
He's been my driver for the past 7½ years, for trips to Victoria, ACT, NSW and Queensland. He likes to label himself as 'Ray the Roadie', but he's a lot more than that. For the churches & schools I've sung at, we both set up the sound gear - the amps, guitars et al. He then retires to a back seat, while I sing & play. Afterwards, at schools, we take the gear down together. But at churches, he looks after the gear, while I talk with people & sell CDs & books. We get to stay with people most places , & we both love meeting people, enjoying their terrific hospitality.
This trip was his swan-song. I know he's enjoyed the driving & meeting people, but I still don't know how to say thank you. In his modest, self deprecating way, he'd reject the label of 'Servant of Christ', but he's been that for me, & together we've been able to serve people in many places.