A song of peace for their land and for mine
Some radical readings in our lectionary today, folks. Our God is a God of peace, of abundance, and of life. Some excerpts:
God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living….
For God formed man (sic) to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made him (sic).
But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.
(Wisdom 1:13, 2:23-24)
[Y]ou know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.
Not that others should have relief while you are burdened,
but that as a matter of equality
your abundance at the present time should supply their needs,
so that their abundance may also supply your needs,
that there may be equality.
(2 Cor. 8: 13-15)
Fine readings for reflection on the Sunday before the American feast of Independence Day, celebrated this coming Tuesday. How are we Christians living in the empire, called a “beacon to the nations” by some, measuring up to the standard set by scripture? Are we? Or are we just like everyone else? Of course, the priest did not preach about this at all, choosing rather to let me know once again that Jesus wants to be “physically” present to me in the Eucharist so that he can “meet my needs.” Ah, therepeutic religion.
At least he didn’t mention Independence Day once, and we didn’t sing the national anthem or “America the Beautiful” this year. Instead, the closing song was a hymn to the tune of “Finlandia,” and the words were actually quite beautiful. I’ll give you two verses:
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 sacred 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 cloverleaf 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.