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Musings from Linda 7/5/24

What comes to your mind when you hear the words — FOURTH OF JULY??? Fireworks?   Parades?   Family picnics?  Probably ALL of the above — along with the American flag and all the patriotic songs about our country — OUR COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE,  THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER, O BEAUTIFUL FOR SPACIOUS SKIES,  GRAND OLD FLAG,  YANKEE DOODLE ….BUT — when NMCC purchased the “Chalice Hymnal” several years back an additional hymn appeared in the “national songs” section — — THIS IS OUR SONG. 

The text of the first two verses was written in by Lloyd Stone in 1934 when he was only 22 years old and the third was written by Georgia Harkness; it is sung to Jean Sibelius’ magnificent tune — FINLANDIA. Two more different people to share authorship you could not find! 

Lloyd (1912-1993) majored in music at University of California intending to become a music teacher, but instead joined a circus bound for Hawaii! — and remained there for the rest of his life as a pianist-composer. 

Georgia Harkness ( 1891-1974), a graduate of Cornell, Yale and Harvard was a Methodist theologian and the first female theologian to teach at a seminary.  What moved each one of them was a passion for PEACE in our broken world — and a desire to celebrate ALL the nations as God’s own — and not just ours.

“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 holy 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. O hear my song, Thou God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine. This is my prayer, O Ruler of all nations: let thy reign come:  on earth thy will be done. In peace may all earth’s people draw together, and hearts united learn to live as one. O hear my prayer, Thou God of all the nations; myself I give thee; let thy will be done.“

Click here to listen and please pray along to the words of verse 3… 

Indeed,  may we ALL “draw together” as children of God! — and with hearts united, LEARN TO LIVE AS ONE.  

Our future depends on it…

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