O Praise the Gracious Power

Our daughter is six and very inquisitive, so we’ve been (inadequately) explaining the significance of this day and who Martin Luther King Jr. was and is. 

It’s been sad having to explain such an ugly wound in the human story to a young soul who doesn’t seem to be caught up in the black/white binary. Even now, Rory describes people by the color of their hair, not their skin.  

And so, I even hesitate to introduce this black/white thing to her. I don’t want to add toxins to the beautifully pure innocence of her current worldview. But, as parents, it’s our job to prepare her for the narratives that she’ll soon partake in as her world expands. She’ll soon start watching grownup movies that show a lot of people with darker skin holding guns and wearing handcuffs. She’ll start to see the tokenization and demonization of those with darker colored skin and if the soil of her psyche isn’t tilled, those toxic seeds will take root and grow into the same weeds that have been starving the vitality of our human landscape for generations. 

As inadequately as her mom and I are doing this, I pray that it’s enough for her and God (and her peers and neighbors) to take from there. To pull the weeds and plant seeds that nourish rather than famish the soil of their being.

Today, I want to share with you a hymn that we sang in church yesterday - may it serve as the perfect prayer for you on this day...

O Praise the Gracious Power

O praise the gracious power
that tumbles walls of fear
and gathers in one house of faith
all strangers far and near.

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise persistent truth
that opens fisted minds
and eases from their anxious clutch
the prejudice that blinds:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise inclusive love,
encircling every race,
oblivious to gender, wealth,
to social rank or place:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise the word of faith
that claims us as God's own,
a living temple built on Christ,
our rock and cornerstone:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise the tide of grace
that laps at every shore
with visions of a world at peace,
no longer bled by war:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise the power, the truth,
the love, the word, the tide.
Yet more than these,
O praise their source,
praise Christ the crucified:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

O praise the living Christ
with faith's bright songful voice!
Announce the gospel to the world
and with these words rejoice:

We praise you, Christ!
Your cross has made us one!

——

Grace & Godspeed,
Jonas