I am as uncertain what tomorrow holds as anyone. I’ve done my part. I’ve cast my ballot and now I can only pray that I live in a land that chooses love over hate.
I pray so much and fumble for the right words to speak my hope. I admire you so much, dear pastors, for your courage and strength in reminding us what the gospel calls us to do and be.
I find myself tripping over words in my worry for what 2020 will dish up for us now. When I don’t know how to pray, I sing broken and out of tune. Only my kids really suffer the discordant praise while we are under lockdown. Still, I sing.
I don’t know why this is the song on my heart right now but it’s what I’ve been singing all morning. It got me thinking about other words that speak to the unknown fears so many are carrying right now. There are other songs, of course. Even when we cannot sing together, there are hymns that can proclaim our hope like a good poem. Among my favorites are these wonders of words:
- This Is My Song
- O for a World
- God of Grace and God of Glory
- For the Healing of the Nations
- We Would Be Building
- Toda la Tierra
- Come, O Long-Expected Jesus
I haven’t included links as I hope that these are familiar enough that you can sing a few bars even if you were confused why Advent songs appear on this list. Isn’t that how we feel right now, like the whole earth is waiting even if it’s actually just those within the borders of these United States of America? There are two more newer hymns that I would add to this list. One of these songs was included in the All Saints liturgy I shared a few weeks ago. Those songs are:
There are, obviously, poems that dare to name our hopes and fears of all the years of 2020. (That carol is another I’ve found myself singing lately.) Here are some poems that have spoken to my heart recently and I hope dare to dream of what will be beyond the election results.
- We Look with Uncertainty by Anne Hillman
- V’ahavta by Aurora Levins Morales
- You Still Dream by Nikki Grimes
- Try To Praise the Mutilated World by Adam Zagajewski
- Prayer for the Morning by Audette Fulbright Fulson
- A Poem on Hope by Wendell Berry
- America the Beautiful Again by Richard Blanco
- How it will feel months from now by Mary Jo Bang
- Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
There are certainly more words to speak to this moment. You, dear pastors, are offering so many wonderful words of life. Thank you for reminding us all to hope.