“…Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days…” (Harry Emerson Fosdick)

When Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote the engaging lines to the famous hymn, “God of Grace and God of Glory,” we know he didn’t have our present day in mind. But my, how appropriate is his request! And although the sentiment/prayer asking God to grant us wisdom and courage is suitable to every generation, perhaps it is, even more so, now.

Who would’ve thought, that in the current political era, Christians would so easily turn their backs on the main tenants of Christianity? Non-negotiable such as, “loving your neighbor as yourself,” or, welcoming the stranger, or, caring for the poor/homeless – all sanctioned by Christ, have been tossed out by many, in support of a president who, on a daily basis, perpetuates fear-mongering conspiracy theories and outright lies in order to galvanize his base. Turns out, 30 pieces of silver is no longer a necessary enticement to betray Christ. All it takes is the promise of a bull market and strong investment earnings.

Christ was also pretty high on speaking truth…another area thrown to the wayside in recent days. Turns out, a great way to win folks to your way of thinking is not by distorting the truth, but by outright falsehoods, easily disproved by truth-seekers…if there are any.

Fear. Fear is another big motivator of the masses. Tell an American that their freedoms are in danger, that their way of life is being threatened, that they are somehow being persecuted, and you have a trifecta win! Fear entices us to “circle the wagons” and focus on ourselves – our needs, rather than others.

The second verse of Fosdick’s hymn says, “Lo! the hosts of evil round us, scorn thy Christ, assail his ways!” When people who claim the name of Christ accept such things as racism, narcissism, sexism, and a whole host of other “isms,” too numerous to name, then we have betrayed the heart of Christ – what He stood for – what He preached and lived, and what He expects of us today.

It used to be – not too long ago – that the first requirement of someone running for office was that he or she be of sound character, someone who didn’t (and wouldn’t) lie, cheat, or steal. The American public would not stand for less. My, how things have changed.

For now, Fosdick’s third verse seems especially appropriate.

“Cure thy children’s warring madness,
bend our pride to thy control;
shame our wanton, selfish gladness,
rich in things and poor in soul.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal,
Lest we miss thy kingdom’s goal.”


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Kim Chafee

I am a lover of the God who sings! I am a Christ-follower and an ordained minister married to the other Rev. Chafee (Scott), with two grown children and a multitude of pets. And, I love chocolate. Read more about me and the reason for this blog on my ABOUT page.

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