Hymn sums up present situation

Published 8:35 am Thursday, July 21, 2011

The following hymn/poem seems to fit our circumstance. It is by Gilbert Keith Chesterton.

O God of earth and altar,

Bow down and hear our cry;

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Our earthly rulers falter,

Our people drift and die;

The walls of gold entomb us,

The swords of scorn divide;

Take not Thy thunder from us,

But take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,

From lies of tongue and pen;

From all the easy speeches

That comfort cruel men;

From sale and profanation

Of honor, and the sword;

From sleep and from damnation,

Deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether

The prince and priest and thrall,

Bind all our lives together,

Smite us and save us all;

In ire and exaltation,

Aflame with faith, and free,

Lift up a living nation,

A single sword to Thee. Amen

I wish the last line had read, “A single heart to Thee.” We have more than enough swords swishing and slashing around the world these days. Religious and anti-religious ones included. And certainly verbal ones. There is something deadly wrong in our human hearts. Could it be that Jesus was right — that we need new hearts? All of us?

David Hernes

Albert Lea