May It Become Our Practice to Counter Hate and Fear | Sojourners

May It Become Our Practice to Counter Hate and Fear

AURELIA D ("The Church's One Foundation”)

God, in our church’s teaching, may we be bold and clear;
may it become our practice to counter hate and fear.
We’ve said that Jesus’ message is one that’s filled with love,
and yet our sweeping statements are clearly not enough.

Isaiah boldly told us, you hate our worship ways
when we ignore injustice and simply offer praise.
And Jesus gave a warning: When we— in sin and pride — 
refuse to welcome others, we turn our Lord aside.

May these be crucial lessons we teach the old and young:
that racist ways are evil, that sexist ways are wrong.
In Sunday schools and pulpits, may this be what we speak:
God made each person precious, beloved, and unique.

O God, we grieve the violence, the shootings, and the hate;
we grieve our own indifference — our speaking out too late.
God, in our church’s witness, may we say loud and clear:
We welcome every neighbor. We work for justice here.

Biblical references: Luke 10:25-37; John 13:34-35; Isaiah 58; Matthew 25:31-46; Genesis 1:26-27; I John 3:1; 4:7-21; Amos 5:24; and Micah 6:8
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864
Text: Copyright © 2021 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

This hymn was completed on March 20, 2021 as a response to the shootings of Asian women and others in Atlanta and the increasing attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Permission is given for free use of this hymn by local churches and ecumenical groups, including for streaming online in worship services. Please share this hymn with pastors, church musicians, worship planners, activists, and others who might find it helpful.

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