A Hymn to Savor During Election Season

I have not looked for a church for more than a decade. But after moving to Roanoke my family and I were in the position of looking for a church to call home. Unexpectedly, we have landed at a conservative ELCA church called St. John Lutheran Church.

Yep, Lutheran.

What has drawn us is the integrity and godliness of the pastors and the astounding beauty and power of the liturgy. We love it. We don’t, however, love the contemporary service. Yesterday the only service St. John had was the contemporary one, so we decided to go elsewhere. We attended Christ Lutheran, which is down the street and has the coolest architecture around. A stone building with beautiful woodwork in the ceiling and breathtaking stained glass. Just beautiful. The liturgy was likewise wonderful. It was obvious that this ELCA was a lot more mainline than evangelical. They (a woman actually) prayed for the environment (our stewardship thereof) and for relief for the oppressed. They also sang a hymn written by Harry Emerson Fosdick, notorious liberal from the early 19th century. It was a hymn I had never heard of but enjoyed immensely. It’s called “God of Grace and God of Glory” (tune is the same as “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”).

I offer you the hymn here in its entirety because it is truly profound, but also because it strikes me as a fitting prayer during this election season. The church, not America, is the nation that will persist and will triumph through seasons of election and national or international turmoil. Here is my prayer. I particularly am drawn to the third verse. Savor it with me.

God of grace and God of glory,
On Thy people pour Thy power.
Crown Thine ancient church’s story,
Bring her bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour,
For the facing of this hour.

Lo! the hosts of evil ’round us,
Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways.
From the fears that long have bound us,
Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the living of these days,
For the living of these days.

Cure Thy children’s warring madness,
Bend our pride to Thy control.
Shame our wanton selfish gladness,
Rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.

Set our feet on lofty places,
Gird our lives that they may be,
Armored with all Christ-like graces,
In the fight to set men free.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
That we fail not man nor Thee,
That we fail not man nor Thee.

Save us from weak resignation,
To the evils we deplore.
Let the search for Thy salvation,
Be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Serving Thee Whom we adore,
Serving Thee Whom we adore.

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2 responses to “A Hymn to Savor During Election Season

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