One of my favorite hymns is “This is My Song,” ELW 887. Part of my love for this hymn is that the tune is from Finlandia, because the key signature is the same key signature of my heart. But the other reason I love this hymn is because of verses one and two:
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 clover leaf and pine. But other lands have sunlight too, and clover, and skies are everywhere as blue as mine. So hear my song, O God of all the nations, a song of peace for their land and for mine.
As we have been witnesses to the rise of white nationalism, or at least to the visibility and intensity of white nationalism, this hymn serves as a counter narrative to the jingoistic bent we are prone to fall into. Forces that work against the kingdom of God here on earth will always try to pit one land, or one people, against another as if we are in competition, rather than one humanity united by our hope and dreams. God’s creation is bigger than political borders and whatever other borders we try to erect. We can have pride of place, without diminishing the place of others.
Today I invite you to pray for hearts beating in another land. Pray for the wellbeing of their elders, their children, their healthcare systems, water quality, educational systems, and their safety. Pray for their blue skies, their clover, and for their peace.
Let us pray:
Good and Gracious God, we give you thanks for the gifts of creation. Make us wise stewards, compassionate guardians, and powerful advocates for all that you have made. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.