Advent . Week 3 . Saturday

It came upon the midnight clear, That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men, From heaven’s all-gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay, To hear the angels sing.

I pray for courageous world leaders who pursue the common welfare before political gain, who consider cooperation before the triumph of strength: for real conversations about poverty and women’s health and violence and hatred and greed. I pray for the nations’ citizens to sing of peace on earth louder than they sing of patriotism: for listening and understanding to lead us in complex matters of trade and migration and security. I pray for foresight and insight to see the world’s possibilities and live into them: to hear of war and still live for community, to see despair and still speak of hope, to learn of the breadth of injustice and yet work for reconciliation.

O ye, beneath life’s crushing load, Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way With painful steps and slow —
Look now! for glad and golden hours Come swiftly on the wing:
O rest beside the weary road, And hear the angels sing.

(Text: Edmund H. Sears 1850; Tune: R. Storrs Willis 1850)

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