O God, We Long for Better Days | Sojourners

O God, We Long for Better Days

A New Hymn for Advent-Christmas During the Pandemic

GREENSLEEVES 8.7.8.7 with Refrain ("What Child Is This?")

O God, we long for better days when we can be together,
to celebrate your love and grace in Jesus Christ our Savior.
We long for Silent Night in crowded pews, by candlelight.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We long to come and Deck the Halls this year — like many others.
Yet all around we hear the calls of countless, hurting neighbors.
This year, in quiet ways, we’ll pray and serve and fill our days.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We’ll still, with Christian Friends, Rejoice, by phone, or by our zooming.
We’ll ponder here: What Child is This?— and seek A Rose, Eer Blooming.
We’ll love and serve and give; we’ll live as Christ taught us to live.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We long to feast and celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors.
Yet this can be our gift— to wait, until the times are better.
Still, Still , you give us joy— a love that death cannot destroy.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

Tune: Traditional English melody ("What Child Is This?")
Text: Copyright © 2020 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Permission is given for free use of this hymn.
Email: carolynshymns@gmail.com New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com

Author's Note: “O God, We Long for Better Days” can be shared in pastoral emails, in church newsletters, on Facebook and on church web sites for personal reflection. Health professionals and scientists in church and community might appreciate being given a copy of the hymn as an example of the church seeking to support their work. A copy of the hymn formatted with music as a PDF is available for free online.  Phil Hart, a singer and songwriter, did a beautiful recording of the new hymn that is now on YouTube with permission for its free use by churches. A video of the hymn by Presbyterian pastor Casey Carbone, which may be used in local church settings, is posted on YouTube. appreciate being given a copy of the hymn as an example of the church seeking to support their work.

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