By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

A 1,500 pound bell hangs at Harvard’s Memorial Church with an inscription, “in memory of the voices that are hushed.” It’s weighty call rings out every morning across the now-hushed closed-due-to-COVID campus and rang out across campus through the years to mark celebration and sorrow. The inscription eulogizes the Harvard students killed in World War I.

There’s something about the 4th of July that pushes us to recall our past and consider our future. What will become of this nation in ten years? Twenty? Fifty? What will inspire? What will push us forward? What will nudge us to pursue excellence? What will cause us to demand liberty and justice? What will move us to live closer to our brightest hope for this land? Whose names will we call out “in memory of the voices that are hushed” in the next century?

May the words of this stunning hymn, a song of love and longing for one’s home country, be a prayer for what is ahead, even as we look back across our long storied past. You can hear it sung in worship here.

Let us pray:

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
But other hearts in other lands are beating with hopes and dreams
as true and high as mine.
My countries skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine;
But other lands have sunlight, too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
—Lloyd Stone, 1912–1993

Invitation: Families with children are invited to join us for our new Candle Time on Tuesdays from 7–7:20 p.m. in the month of June. Contact Christine Hides for the link to the online meeting.