Today our nation celebrates Veterans’ Day. I hope you take some time today to remember and give thanks for all those who dedicated their lives to our country through military service, fighting for freedom, defending our nation’s core values, upholding the vision of a nation that embraces all those who dream of life, liberty, and happiness. I hope you also take some time this week to give thanks for all those who participate in our democratic process – those who run polling places, those who count votes, those who govern, those who protect, those who march and advocate, those who legislate, those who cast their votes, those who participate.
Over the next several months in our national life, some people will embrace each day with more and more joy and others will embrace each day with more and more dread. And as COVID 19 cases continue to increase to record numbers in our nation, more and more people will sequester themselves, and more families will suffer as they experience the grief of this devastating pandemic. As days grow shorter and nights grow longer in our hemisphere, it may be hard to hold on to hope and light and love. But we are called to do exactly that – hold on to hope and light and love even in the darkest times.
This past Sunday, Austin Bradley sang a hymn that I think is particularly appropriate for our common life right now. I urge you to pray this hymn this week. Let it seep into your soul and guide your hope:
God of all peoples, cultures and nations,
God of the poor and wealthy ones, too —
Be with our land as we make decisions;
Help us, we pray, to listen to you.
May we hear well your call to do justice;
May we know all your children have worth.
May we seek leaders who will end violence;
May we choose ones who care for your earth.
God, may this time of anger be over;
May we grow past our current divide.
Make us as one, as sisters and brothers;
In this good land, may your love abide.
(hymn text copyright by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette)