Hymn: God, We Know That on This Planet

With Memorial Day (and soon Independence Day) around the corner, I wanted to share a hymn text that I wrote a few years ago that pushes us as Christian people to prayerfully think about what it means to live as people of faith in an environment of violence and idolatry. It won the Macalester Plymouth United Church Hymn Contest in 2010, but I realized that I never posted it here. Think of it as a poetic #TBT. We won’t sing it here at San Lucas, since it doesn’t totally fit musically with how we worship, but it might work well in other contexts. Feel free to use it, but I’d love to know when and where it gets sung. Along with the two tunes I originally suggested, BEACH SPRING could be another singable choice.

 

God, we know that on this planet

we are not the only ones,

but with every tribe and nation

we’re your daughters and your sons.

With baptismal waters flowing,

dripping wet and sanctified,

we are sharing in your promise

with Christ Jesus by our side.

 

Help us be a peaceful presence

in a reconciling role,

trusting not in our own prowess

but in your divine control.

Feed us, form us, strengthen, nourish

with abundant holy food.

Guide us as your living body,

in the world for every good.

 

We acknowledge past injustice,

and for future peace we pray,

trusting in the Holy Spirit

who sustains us day by day.

When we look into a mirror,

help us have humility:

seeing strangers as our neighbors

in this blessed community.

 

Flags and banners blur our vision;

our own pride obscures the cross.

Jesus, mend our indecision,

bring your mercy to our loss.

As we watch the war and violence,

prejudice and bigotry,

guide us in anticipation

of the world as it will be.

 

2010 Prize winning hymn – God, We Know That on This Planet

By Paul Bailie, Eagle Pass, Texas

(Suggested tunes: PLEADING SAVIOR, HOLY MANNA) Meter: 8.7.8.7.D

 

© 2010, Rev. Paul Bailie

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