Sunday, January 6, 2013

Our National Hymn

  1. God of our fathers, Whose almighty hand
    Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
    Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies
    Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.

  2. Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
    In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
    Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
    Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.

  3. From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
    Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
    Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
    Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.

  4. Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
    Lead us from night to never ending day;
    Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
    And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
These words were written in 1876 by Daniel C. Roberts, an Episcopal priest from Vermont.  He wanted a hymn to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.  This poem was chosen from the many submitted to a national commission and was later set to the music known as National Hymn that we know today. 

As we sang it in church this morning, I was reminded once again of our country's roots.  If we do our research, we find that every person who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution listed some religious affiliation.  There was no column for "None." 

We stand at the beginning of a new year.  Our country slips further away from Godly principles every day.  Will you join me in a daily prayer, thinking on these lines from this powerful hymn as we pray for our nation?

One nation...under God...

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