I have been a church goer for 26 years and I've sang (or is it sung? Yes, I should know this, I'm a teacher, but we don't know everything...ha!) a bajillion hymns throughout my lifetime. I know most of them by heart and often find myself humming them or singing them to myself in my car while driving...while no one is listening of course. Oddly enough it's usually Amazing Grace. There is just something about an old hymn that makes me feel good.
For the most part the Baptist and Methodist hymnals are the same...or so I assume...I haven't studied them next to each other, but a lot of the songs from the Methodist church are the same as the Baptist church, which is what I grew up in. But, in my 26 years of Sunday morning worship services I've never heard this particular song...and it really set with me for some reason.
Help us accept each other as Christ accepted us,
teach us as sister, brother, each person to embrace.
Be present God among us and bring us to believe
we are ourselves accepted and meant to love and live.
Teach us, O God, your lessons,
as in our daily life we struggle to be human
and search for hope and faith.
Teach us to care for people
for all, not just some,
to love them as we find them or as they may become.
Let your acceptance change us,
so that we may be moved in living situations
to do the truth in love, to practice your acceptance
until we know by heart the table of forgiveness
and laughter's healing art.
God, for today's encounters with all who are in need,
who hunger for acceptance, for righteousness, and bread.
We need new eyes for seeing, new hands for holding on,
renew us with your Spirit, and free us, make us one.
You don't have to be a Christian or believe in God to understand what these words guide us to do. I think in today's world we need all the reminding we can get. Often we don't even realize that we lose sight on acceptance of others and need to be reminded how God accepts us as we are.
Man, I should have remembered this before I had a student parent encounter today, HA. Maybe I should post it in my new classroom next year!