*** Romans 12.1 is the inspiration for this hymn: I beseech you, present your bodies as a living sacrifice.
It would be good if congregations are encouraged to sing this hymn, but, plainly, it is more of a hymn-anthem than a typical congregational song.
Throughout history many Christians have viewed the body with contempt, preferring to value the spirit above the body. This hymn consciously QUEERs such a view, affirming instead what the novelist Paul Scott called ‘the body’s grace’.
The 3rd verse is a brief meditation on the affirmation that we are the body of Christ, and individually members of it (1 Corinthians 12.27). Dwelling “all present, in each other’s core” subversively suggests a more radical belonging to each other than is usually assumed in churches and polite society.
The music is also slightly subversive, a bit nervous, faintly voluptuous. It feels precarious, but is actually not out of control; for, despite much chromatic sliding, the music never leaves its home key.