This is my song

This is my song O God of all the nations
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;

But other hearts in other lands are beating
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover- leaf and pine.

But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
Oh, hear my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

*To the melody of Finlandia *Lyrics by Lloyd Stone

Whenever the Fourth of July comes around I think of this hymn, which is one of my favorite from our church hymnal.  I’m reminded that to be an American patriot, I need to love my country, but not at the expense of other nations and people. I should love our American history, but not when it wavers from our principles of equality and justice, and love our democracy but not when it’s perverted by demagogues.

Two of my ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence. I wonder how they balanced patriotism, independence and compassion as they put their names on that document. I wish I could sit down with them on this upcoming weekend and listen to their answers.

May this Fourth of July be one that celebrates our freedom from fear, and our commitment to compassion and diversity.

 

5 Comments

  1. DELORES on June 28, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Well spoken. There is room for all and a world of equality for all should be our goal.

  2. Coelle Baskel on June 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Thank You!

  3. Kay Pealstrom on June 29, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    This is my absolute favorite hymn, and I always cry trying to sing it. In the spring of 2003 I was supposed to go to Afghanistan with a faith group – Kandahar province – but the area became too hot for us to go and it was delayed. A couple from my church were agricultural missionaries several decades ago – But Max wrote out the first verse in Pashto for me.

    • Kay Pealstrom on June 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm

      This is my absolute favorite hymn, and I always cry trying to sing it. In the spring of 2003 I was supposed to go to Afghanistan with a faith group – Kandahar province – but the area became too hot for us to go and it was delayed. A couple from my church were agricultural missionaries several decades ago – But Max wrote out the first verse in Pashto for me.

      • Emilie Richards on June 29, 2020 at 3:55 pm

        I’m sorry you missed your trip, but I’m glad you had friend to transcribe some of it for you. That’s a memory to cherish.

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