I’m not sure I have much to say on this one today, short of what I muttered as I finished singing, and as poured my coffee, and I walked up the stairs to the office, and as I opened up this page: “Hmmm. Well.. okay.”
I hoped for more insight from Jacqui James – but all I learned is that Fred Kaan, a congregational minister in England, wrote this for the opening service for the Christian World Conference on Life and Peace in 1983. I suppose that explains the “for children unborn” line… and the cold war sentiment of “energy wasted on weapons of death.”
The tune is unfamiliar but not difficult, although there are some intervals that challenge a pre-coffee, pre-warm-up voice.
I’m not sure why I am so ambivalent about this one – I mean, short of the annoyance I have at the idea that “life” and “death” would rhyme (except metaphorically). Maybe it’s because I don’t need another prayer – I need action and answers. I guess I’m finding this a bit unsatisfactory today. Oh well. Here are the lyrics:
We utter our cry: that peace may prevail!
That earth will survive and faith must not fail.
We pray with our life for the world in our care,
for people diminished by doubt and despair.
We cry from the fright of our daily scene
for strength to say “no” to all that is mean:
designs bearing chaos, extinction of life,
all energy wasted on weapons of death.
We lift up our hearts for children unborn:
give wisdom, O God, that we may hand on,
replenished and tended, this good planet earth,
preserving the future and wonder of birth.
Hmmm. Well… okay.
The picture today is another unrelated image because nothing came up for me visually. Instead, here’s a beloved covered bridge in Arlington, Vermont, which I was reminded of during a conversation with my friend and colleague Elizabeth Assenza. It’s pretty, isn’t it?
Fred Kaan Hymn writer. His hymns include both original work and translations. He sought to address issues of peace and justice. He was born in Haarlem in the Netherlands in July 1929. He was baptised in St Bavo Cathedral but his family did not attend church regularly. He lived through the Nazi occupation, saw three of his grandparents die of starvation, and witnessed his parents deep involvement in the resistance movement. They took in a number of refugees. He became a pacifist and began attending church in his teens. Having become interested in British Congregationalism (later to become the United Reformed Church) through a friendship, he was attended Western College in Bristol. He was ordained in 1955 at the Windsor Road Congregation. https://hymnary.org/person/Kaan_Fred