All of us are enduring this season of our presidential campaign with a level of angst. Psychologist have written about the stress that we are experiencing. Some people are turning off their televisions in an attempt to escape the divisive language and incessant negative dialogue.
One thing is clear to me: this is a time for prayer, prayer that our nation will find its way to serenity, calmness and unity. I would like to share with you such a prayer, actually the text of the hymn, “O God of Every Time and Place.”
The words describe a people with “downcast eyes, tight, sullen and afraid.” Yet the hymn moves toward hope for divine rebirth.
O God of every time and place,
Prevail among us too;
Within the city that we love,
Its promise to renew,
Our people move with downcast eyes,
Tight, sullen and afraid;
Surprise us with Thy joy divine,
For we would be remade.
Grant us, O God, who labor here
Within this throbbing maze,
A forward-looking, saving hope
To galvanize our days.
Let Christ, who loved Jerusalem,
And wept its sins to mourn,
Make just our laws and pure our hearts;
So shall we be reborn.
Ernest T. Campbell, 1971
I am confident that, as a people, we will get beyond these days. I am confident that our democracy will continue to shine throughout the world as a beacon of hope. I am confident that, when all the harsh, harmful words have faded away, we will be reborn.
I am confident because of the God who gives us strength, resilience and abiding grace.