Friday, July 4, 2014

A Patriot's Prayer (Strength in Hymn)

"A Patriot's Prayer"
by John R. Wreford

Lord, while for all mankind we pray,
Of ev’ry clime and coast,
Oh, hear us for our native land,
The land we love the most.

Oh, guard our shores from ev’ry foe;
With peace our borders bless,
Our cities with prosperity,
Our fields with plenteousness.

Unite us in the sacred love
Of knowledge, truth, and thee;
And let our hills and valleys shout
The songs of liberty.

(With thanks to Kenneth Randall Taylor for including this on his own blog, thus saving me typing time.)


It is July 4, Independence Day here in the USA, my native land.

I sit at my father's table with a pile of vintage hymnals that my sister gave me this week - The Brethren Hymnal, The United Methodist Hymnal, The Broadman Hymnal, Hymns of Praise, and Hymns for the Family of God. They belonged to my mother and grandmother, who both died this past year leaving a musical legacy of faith.

It's been a while since I wrote a Strength in Hymn post, and when the dining room clock chimed the tune of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" at 7 this morning, I thought I'd write about that beloved old German hymn. But, like I said, it is the Fourth of July, so I turned to the "Patriotic" section of the subject index of Hymns of Praise instead. And I found this hymn, "A Patriot's Prayer," which is not even American. I could have chosen "America the Beautiful" or "My Country 'Tis of Thee" but you all know those already, don't you? Let's go for a little something different, even if it is British and the British were... well, our enemies in two wars. This is the beauty of peacemaking. England is now our ally, our friend. Isn't it true that we can look back in our own lives and people who had been enemies but are now friends -- because we learned to forgive and move on?  I can.

But back to patriotism... I love America as my native land, but even more because it stands for truth and liberty.  May God make this a reality, because this is not always what we see here.  It is a reminder that I must work toward this, too, and not just assume everyone else will, or that all will be right and good just because I am an American.  I must be a true patriot myself, even if I do hate politics.  I must "shout the songs of liberty."

Virginia Knowles

(Selfie by Melody,
my little patriot)

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