God of grace and God of glory: on thy people pour thy power; crown thine ancient church’s story; bring its bud to to glorious flower. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.
Lo! the hosts of evil round us scorn thy Christ, assail thy ways! From the fears that long have bound us free our hearts to faith and praise. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, for the living of these days.
Cure thy children’s waring 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.
This beloved hymn brings to mind that well-known verse from the book of Esther, “who knows? Perhaps you have come into your position for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14).
Throughout our lifetimes we will likely feel the pull of this verse several times. However, every now and again, a time rolls around when it feels particularly and peculiarly poignant. Like the lyrics of this song, a time has befallen our world when we need wisdom and courage in order that we might face this hour, live in these days, and keep our eyes on the Kingdom’s true goal.
This is not the time to remain silent. Though, like Esther, we may face consequences for our speaking up, it is necessary because the forces plaguing our world are already in the realm of life-or-death decisions. There are too many people getting hurt, injustices going unchallenged, and lives being destroyed.
The good news is that there is no time like the present.
You are a child of God. Your voice matters. Whether you are the one being hurt or the one in a position to do something about it: show up, speak up, and show out that God’s love will win in the end. It will because of the work God does through us here and now. Evil will continue to sway the world with its charms, but we – the children of God – must and will stand and fight until God’s Kingdom reigns on earth as it does in heaven.
May this, then, be our prayer for the journey: Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore. Let the gift of thy salvation be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving thee whom we adore, serving thee whom we adore.