Songwriter David Lee wrote the words of this song after hearing a BBC Look North report about Street Angels and Street Pastors. A few days later when the work of Street Pastors was featured in the newsletter at Durham Cathedral, the challenging role of Christian volunteers in helping those who are distressed or vulnerable was lodged in his mind.
“Such work is way, way outside my own area,” says David, “but I have a huge respect for it.”
The song blends proclamation with the challenge to respond to culture with integrity and Biblical truth, with the verses following the sequence of words that Jesus used to describe himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14: 6).
David usually recommends the “Kingsfold” tune for these lyrics.
Make straight the way
Make straight the way: the city streets
for God a highway laid;
with dauntless voice proclaim good news,
street angels, unafraid.
Shall we, who once ‘hosanna’ cried,
cry ‘crucify’ today?
Christ, give us strength to bear your cross
along Cyrene’s way.
Make straight the truth,
pierce with your light our world that thinks it knows;
its odd delusions, unknown gods,
our sophistries expose.
Shall we, who question ‘what is truth?’,
re-hang you on the tree?
Christ, teach our minds the wisdom of
your truth to set us free.
Make straight the life,
life spent with grief, spent poor or spent in wealth;
life lived with others, lived alone,
in sickness or in health.
Shall we still seek to live for self
as though to you unknown?
Christ of our secret thoughts, raise us
from death to life, your own.
Emmanuel, be God with us
as once in Palestine
you fed the hungry, healed the sick, turned water into wine.
Our feet are yours to walk your way,
our minds your truth to name;
and in your life, our lives made new
your kingdom love proclaim.
Reproduced by permission of David Lee