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.


2021 - Where do we go from here?

Breezin' along in my Japanese coupe, breezin' along with the windows down. The dog keeps sniffing the air - he's got an empty head but he's alright. We've got time to spare, time to get where, we don't know, and who cares?

And the days go fast and the nights go faster
Lord, where do we go from here?
Lord, where do you want me to be? (© Robin Mann 1972)

Some questions keep on coming, and this is one of them.
The pandemic has put a hold on so much, and while Australia is in a better position than many, uncertainty remains.

Two weeks ago I  finished a song 'In the year that's coming'. It ends with:

May your love shine through us,
every day renew us,
keep on coming to us, 
stay with us
in the coming year.