Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Acts of God

Daily Readings
Proverbs 21 + Joshua 4:1-5:1 + Deuteronomy 33 + Romans 15

Quote of the Day
May the God steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:5-6

Daily Text: Joshua 4:14, 15, 23, 24
14On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they stood in awe of him, as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. 15The LORD said to Joshua, 23For the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we crossed over, 24so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the LORD is mighty, and so that you may fear the LORD your God forever."

Acts of God
All liturgy commemorates some historical occasion with its theological meaning intact and in its execution reenacts the complex of events. That is true for the Christian Eucharist that commemorates Christ, places the theology of rescue and expiation at its center and in the present reenacts it all. So it was for these exiled Jews remembering their crossing over into the land, understanding that God was with them always and reenacting in liturgy their own chosenness in the eyes and plan of God. This it was that has made and kept the Jews a people unique and always an expression of God’s care.

Chapter 4 is a puzzle. There are two major themes: the priests who carry the ark into the Jordan and stand there with it while the people pass over, and the stones that are set upon the west bank of the Jordan to stand as a witness for all time that God has done this. The priests and the ark are part of the theological content of the exilic liturgy. The stones have been replaced by the liturgy itself. Both are necessary. The puzzle exists in the historical web. That is, why give so much weight to these elements of that great crossing? And yet if we see it as historicized liturgy we can understand somewhat better.
These are the elements of recollection. It is how we remember the acts of God.

In the process Joshua became a beloved leader, one spoken to by God and followed by God’s people. The exodus, while not settled, was complete. They were out of Egypt in the promised land.

The Chosen Ones of Israel
Park Benjamin

The chosen ones of Israel are scatter’d far and wide:
Where flows the lordly Tiber, where rolls the Atlantic tide—
By Danube’s winding waters, by Hudson’s crystal springs,
Dwell the myriad descendants of the Prophets and the Kings.
Abroad along the valleys are their habitations found—
They are hunters in the forest, and tillers of the ground—
The rising sun beholds them in torrid realms afar,
And on their broken legions looks down the northern star.
In the old world’s crowded cities, in the prairies of the new,
Unchanged amid all changes, to their faith forever true—
Alike by Niger’s fountains and by Niagara’s flood
Still flow, unmix’d, the currents of the grand, heroic blood.
Ye mourn your lasting exile, your temple strewn in dust,
Yet forget not ye the promise of the righteous and the just—
Ye know ye shall be gathered, from every clime and shore,
And be again the chosen of Jehovah evermore.
From Assyria, Egypt, Elam—from Patmos, Cush, Shinar—
From Hamath, and the islands of foreign seas afar—
From all the earth’s four corners, where Israel’s children roam,
Shall the dispers’d of Judah throng to their long promis’d home.
And again, like some high mountain whose tops are crown’d with snow,
Shall the Temple’s thousand turrets in the golden sunset glow—
And again before their altars shall the congregations stand,
On thy plains, O lov’d Jerusalem! The happy, holy land!
And it shall come to pass that the remnant in that day,
Upon the Lord of Hosts above, the great I AM, shall stay:
And the escap’d of Jacob, from the paths which they have trod,
Shall return to him that smote them—your fathers’ mighty God!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Crossing Over

Daily Readings
Proverbs 20 + Joshua 3 + Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52 + Romans 14

Quote of the Day
See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god besides me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

Daily Text: Joshua 3:1-4, 9-11, 14-17

Early in the morning Joshua rose and set out from Shittim with all the Israelites, and they came to the Jordan. They camped there before crossing over. 2At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3and commanded the people, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place. Follow it, 4so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before. 9Joshua then said to the Israelites, "Draw near and hear the words of the LORD your God." 10Joshua said, "By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan.
14 When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. 15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.

Crossing Over
This apparently historically based account has become a liturgical recital. This becomes obvious with the reference to the ‘levitical priests’ (vs. 3), the sanctification requirement for purity purposes (vs. 5) and the obvious unspoken reference to the exodus crossing of the Red Sea or Reed Sea, as it may be. Such liturgical reenactment at a later time, and reflected here, does not mean that YHWH’s people did not cross the Jordan into the land. Certainly, they did.

Clearly, God is with them. Aaron is gone, Moses is also dead, but YHWH continues with his people. This assurance makes all the difference. Leadership charisma is important, but it is not definitive when it comes to following the LORD. The LORD is entering the land before them. Joshua’s instruction to the people to set out following the ark ‘so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before’ (vs. 4a) speaks to all who give their lives over to following God. How often we are aware that we are in unknown territory and that we need direction. We want a word from God, a pointer. We have the scriptures, but they seem not to apply to the specific case we are puzzling over. Of course, when we have explicit references to our situation, we often would rather not hear that word. Our ambivalence betrays us. “Lord, how long will you put up with us?”

The Story of Joshua
Alicia Ostriker

The New Englanders are a people of God settled in those which were once the devil’s territories.—Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1692

We reach the promised land
Forty years later
The original ones who were slaves
Have died
The young are seasoned soldiers
There is wealth enough for everyone and God
Here at our side, the people
Are mad with excitement.
Here is what to do, to take
This land away from the inhabitants:
Burn their villages and cities
Kill their men
Kill their women
Consume the people utterly.
God says: is that clear?
I give you the land, but
You must murder for it.
You will be a nation
Like other nations,
Your hands are going to be stained like theirs
Your innocence annihilated.
Keep listening, Joshua.
Only to you among the nations
Do I also give knowledge
The secret
Knowledge that you are doing evil
Only to you the commandment:
Love ye therefore the stranger, for you were
Strangers in the land of Egypt, a pillar
Of fire to light your passage
Through the blank desert of history forever.
This is the agreement.
Is it entirely
Clear, Joshua,
Said the Lord.
I said it was. He then commanded me
To destroy Jericho.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Daily Readings
Proverbs 19 + Joshua 2 + Deuteronomy 31 + Romans 13

Quote of the Day
…the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; Romans 13 :12

Daily Text: Joshua 2:1-4, 22-24

Then Joshua son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, "Go, view the land, especially Jericho." So they went, and entered the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and spent the night there. 2The king of Jericho was told, "Some Israelites have come here tonight to search out the land." 3Then the king of Jericho sent orders to Rahab, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come only to search out the whole land." 4But the woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, "True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they came from.
22 They departed and went into the hill country and stayed there three days, until the pursuers returned. The pursuers had searched all along the way and found nothing. 23Then the two men came down again from the hill country. They crossed over, came to Joshua son of Nun, and told him all that had happened to them. 24They said to Joshua, "Truly the LORD has given all the land into our hands; moreover all the inhabitants of the land melt in fear before us."

The last time we heard about spies Joshua was one of them. On that occasion only Joshua and Caleb were positive about Israel’s chances to take the land. Now these two men report that the inhabitants ‘melt in fear’ in the face of the Israelite threat. This report confirms the word of God to Joshua that he is to proceed with the invasion. That is not to say that the natives will lay down their arms, but God has promised victory.

How true that is for God’s people in all times. Our ‘land to be conquered’ is the making of disciples and Jesus promises “I am with you always, to the end of the age” [Matthew 28:46].

Right Must Win
from “On the Field”
Frederick William Faber

O it is hard to work for God,
To rise and take His part
Upon this battle-field of earth,
And not sometimes lose heart!

He hides Himself so wondrously,
As though there were not God;
He is least seen when all the powers
Of ill are most abroad.

Or He deserts us at the hour
The fight is all but lost;
And seems to leave us to ourselves
Just when we need Him most.

Ill masters good, good seems to change
To ill with greatest ease;
And, worst of all, the good with good
Is at cross purposes.

It is not so, but so it looks,
And we lose courage then;
And doubts will come if God hath kept
His promises to men.

Workman of God! oh, lose not heart,
But learn what God is like,
And in the darkest battle-field,
Thou shalt know where to strike.

Thrice blest is he to whom is given
The instinct that can tell
That God is on the field when He
Is most invisible.

Blest too is he who can divine
Where real right doth lie,
And dares to take the side that seems
Wrong to man’s blindfold eye.

Muse on His justice, downcast soul,
Muse, and take better heart;
Back with thine angel to the field,
And bravely do thy part.

For right is right, since God is God,
And right the day must win;
To doubt would be disloyalty,
To falter would be sin.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Take Courage

Daily Readings
Proverbs 18 + Joshua 1 + Deuteronomy 30 + Romans 12

Quote of the Day
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Daily Text: Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant, saying, 2"My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. 3Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. 4From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. 5No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous; for you shall put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. 8This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. 9I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."

Take Courage
Joshua in modern scholarship is based on the theological and historical understandings of Deuteronomy. It, combined with Judges, Samuel and the books of the Kings, provides a consistent viewpoint that was desperately needed when it was written during the exile. That viewpoint is expressed in chapter one in two ways: first the promise to Joshua, in Greek often Jeshua, in English, Jesus, that YHWH will always be with him and to ‘put this people in possession of the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them’ [1:6], and second, the need to observe the teaching, the torah, that God through Moses has given the people [1:8]. This was good news, wonderful news, gospel, if you will, to those who were so discouraged in the Babylonian Captivity. This history of the movement across the Jordan River into the land is wrapped up in a theology of the unshakeable promises of God to his people.

The Christian gospels served a similar function after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70 AD. The experiences of Joshua have always provided for Christians great hope in the promises of God. How we have identified with them, while at the same time distancing ourselves from the picture of the warring God who is portrayed in its pages.

Finally, God encourages Joshua to stand firm, to be courageous for He will go with him. The message is that fear and dismay portray a lack of faith and God’s people do not need to embrace such timidity. God is with us as he was with the Ephraimite, Joshua. Remember how Jacob blessed Ephraim the younger over Mannasseh the elder in Genesis 48? This is one of the ways that was lived out—Joshua the commander.

Wanted: Joshua
Richard Realf

When God, whose courtlier crowns did wait
The forehead of our Moses, drew
His steps where Pisgah shot up straight
As a Seer’s thought into the blue
Of the immaculate heavens, and fed
The life-long hunger of his eyes
With one swift vision that struck him dead
For awe of its sublimities:--

And we turned instant unto you,
(Calling you Joshua), to complete
the meanings of the paths which grew
so sharp to our unsandaled feet,
I swear we thought the living soul
Of that great prophet wrought afresh
In you, like thunder, to control
To sovereign ends our drooping flesh.

Were not you with us when God clave
The Red Sea, with a blow, in twain?
Were you not of us when he gave
Manna, and quails, and blessed rain?
And those tall pillars which he yoked
For service—did you see them not?
And all the alien blood that soaked
The paths he hewed—is that forgot?

When crested Sinai cracked in flame,
And all the desert round about
Shook with the dreadness of his Name
Whose glory paled the sunlight out;
Did not you tremble with the rest,
When his imperatives blazed forth
Along the tablets, to attest
The Absolute unto the Earth?

Whence—when the Lord smote him hip and thigh
The Hittite and the Amelekite—
Did you draw warrant to deny
To him the issues of the fight?
By what prerogative do you
Defraud the heavens of those results
Which ripened when we overthrew
Hell’s battering rams and catapults?

I think you are not Joshua, but
Aaron art—he whose atheist hands,
Unclean as sin with worldly smut,
Reared, when God lightened o’er the lands,
A poor vain idol, unto which,
Reaching imploring arms, he caught
A curse that burned like molten pitch,
As symbol of his special Thought.

Are your hands lifted toward the sun,
What time our onsets wax and wane?
Do you see troops of angels run
In shining armor o’er the plain?
I know not; but I know, full sooth
No wrath of hell, nor rage of man,
Nor recreant servant of the Truth,
Can balk us of our Canaan.
411 I:129

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Women's Rights

Daily Readings
Proverbs 17 + Numbers 36 + Deuteronomy 29 + Romans 11

Quote of the Day
The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

Daily Text: Numbers 36:9-10
No inheritance shall be transferred from one tribe to another; for each of the tribes of the Israelites shall retain its own inheritance.
The daughters of Zelophehad did as the Lord had commanded Moses.

Women’s Rights
The daughters Zelophehad arise again. It is rather amazing how often these women are mentioned. They pop up in the geneaology of Numbers 26 and come before Moses in chapter 27 and now in the closing chapter they are referenced exclusively once again. If the rabbis were correct in their assumption, we have the story of their fathers sin in Numbers 15:32-36. Actually, this reference is neither here or there in regards to the references to these daughters whom we shall read of again in Joshua and I Chronicles. Why these repeated references?

The possibility I put forward is that the ruling that daughters might inherit was a profound change among the people of this time. Limited though it was by the male pattern of keeping land within the tribe, it set a precedent for women’s rights that must have been the center of much social upheaval and widespread passionate conversation. So these relatives of the five daughters come back to Moses to clarify that the land stays within the tribe. And Moses agrees, but Moses does not budge on the right of the daughters to inherit. What a breath of fresh air this must have been for women throughout the congregation of Israel. Frankly, for the daughters themselves, the ruling probably made them objects of unwanted attention and ridicule. All of this is supposition, however, the repeated attention to it in Numbers and the historical books points up the shudder that went through the community as age old patterns of male dominated inheritance were altered. If women could inherit and hold property they could not be viewed as property!

Woman and Man
from The Princess
Alfred Tennyson

The woman’s cause is man’s; they rise or sink
Together, dwarf’d or godlike, bond or free:
If she be small, slight-natured, miserable,
How shall men grow? But work no more alone!
The man be more of woman, she of man;
He gain in sweetness and in moral height,
Nor lose the wrestling thews that throw the world;
She mental breadth, nor fail in childward care,
Nor lose the childlike in the larger mind;
Till at the last she set herself to man,
Like perfect music unto noble words;
And so these twain, upon the skirts of Time,
Sit side by side, full-summ’d in all their powers,
Dispensing harvests, sowing the To-be,
Self-reverent each and reverencing each,
Distinct in individualities,
But like each other, ev’n as those who love.
Then comes the statelier Eden back to men;
Then reign the world’s great bridals, chaste and calm:
Then springs the crowning race of human-kind.
May these things be!
404:146 II

Monday, May 09, 2005

Expiation not Ransom

Daily Readings
Proverbs 16 + Numbers 35 + Deuteronomy 28 + Romans 10

Quote of the Day
The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:11-13

Daily Text: Numbers 35:1, 2, 12, 30-34
In the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2Command the Israelites to give, from the inheritance that they possess, towns for the Levites to live in; you shall also give to the Levites pasture lands surrounding the towns. 12The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, so that the slayer may not die until there is a trial before the congregation. 30If anyone kills another, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses; but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of a single witness. 31Moreover you shall accept no ransom for the life of a murderer who is subject to the death penalty; a murderer must be put to death. 32Nor shall you accept ransom for one who has fled to a city of refuge, enabling the fugitive to return to live in the land before the death of the high priest. 33You shall not pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. 34You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell; for I the LORD dwell among the Israelites.

Expiation not Ransom
Most crimes under the law could be ransomed. That is, an animal damaged could be paid for, property damage allowed for replacement, but murder could only be requited by a life for life. And the closest family member to the murdered one was automatically the blood avenger--with rights. Any death diminished the community, but intentional murder was a sin that defiled the whole people and God himself [cf. Vs. 34].

Consequently, an innocent slayer could flee to one of the six cities of refuge. When the time came he would be brought back to the area where the crime had been committed and with more than one witness could be judged innocent or guilty by local leadership. If innocent, he was sent back to the city of refuge, for the rights of the blood-avenger could not be abrogated. The lost life had to be expiated; it could not be paid for. Expiation still meant a life for a life. In the meantime, what sort of life could the innocent murderer have, locked up in this distant and perhaps socially difficult city of refuge? However, with the death of the high priest, and I presume this means the high priest from the temple in Jerusalem, there was expiation for all of those convicted of innocent murder. The high priest made offering once a year for the sins of the people, but even this could not provide expiation for murder. It had to be a life for a life. Upon the high priest’s death, he provided the life required and those relegated to the cities of refuge could return home; the blood-avenger’s rights satisfied.

Jesus was our high priest and his death made the expiation for our sins. But you say, we are not murderers. Ah, yes, but sin always leads to death. Even the smallest sin betrays first God and then our neighbor. Our sins nibble away at life bite by killing bite. We too require life for the death we have spawned. “And it is by God’s will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”[Hebrews 10:10].
And if God has taken such care for the one who sins, how much more will he care for those of us who through Christ have been declared righteous!

The Debt
Paul Laurence Dunbar

This is the debt I pay
Just for one riotous day,--
Years of regret and grief,
Sorrow without relief.

Pay it I will to the end—
Until the grave, my friend,
Gives me a true release,
Gives me the clasp of peace.

Slight was the thing I bought,
Small was the debt, I thought,
Poor was the loan at best—
God! but the interest!

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Daily Readings
Proverbs 15 + Numbers 34 + Deuteronomy 27 + Romans 9

Quote of the Day
A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Daily Text: Numbers 34:1-12
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2Command the Israelites, and say to them: When you enter the land of Canaan (this is the land that shall fall to you for an inheritance, the land of Canaan, defined by its boundaries), 3your south sector shall extend from the wilderness of Zin along the side of Edom. Your southern boundary shall begin from the end of the Dead Sea* on the east; 4your boundary shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its outer limit shall be south of Kadesh-barnea; then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and cross to Azmon; 5the boundary shall turn from Azmon to the Wadi of Egypt, and its termination shall be at the Sea.
6 For the western boundary, you shall have the Great Sea and its* coast; this shall be your western boundary.
7 This shall be your northern boundary: from the Great Sea you shall mark out your line to Mount Hor; 8from Mount Hor you shall mark it out to Lebo-hamath, and the outer limit of the boundary shall be at Zedad; 9then the boundary shall extend to Ziphron, and its end shall be at Hazar-enan; this shall be your northern boundary.
10 You shall mark out your eastern boundary from Hazar-enan to Shepham; 11and the boundary shall continue down from Shepham to Riblah on the east side of Ain; and the boundary shall go down, and reach the eastern slope of the sea of Chinnereth; 12and the boundary shall go down to the Jordan, and its end shall be at the Dead Sea.* This shall be your land with its boundaries all round.

The detailed description of the Promised Land raises the question of whether this was an idealized notion, since only twice, during David and Solomon’s reign in the 10th century B.C. and again about 100 B. C. did Israel ever occupy all of this territory. Contemporary scholarship usually suggests the idealized notion. However, there is evidence that the boundaries named, were those described by Egypt in 13th century B.C., when Canaan was held by Egypt. The land of Canaan would have been known by this reference and it was simply used by the author of Numbers 34 [Cf. 195:1239]. That the historical boundaries of Israel almost never coincided with this description is immaterial.

Modern day America, for example, was once on the Eastern Seaboard, and yet today includes a third of Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, territories like Puerto Rico and once the Philippines. That America is the name for the continent is probably also immaterial. It does not include present-day Mexico, the Central American nations or any of South America and no one is concerned that ‘America’ is an idealized notion or that we will use that appellation as justification to extend our boundaries. Canaan did not include Transjordan, that area east of the Jordan conquered by Moses and settled by Reuben, Gad and the half tribe of Manassah, but Transjordan was a part of Israel at this time. Modern day Israel’s borders are not nearly so extensive and while some are worried that Israel might try to expand to these boundaries, it is probably not a serious concern. Canaan was, therefore, shorthand for the Egyptian hegemony about the time Joshua led the people across the Jordan River.

An Hassidic reference says that “the main purpose of occupying Canaan was to lead a holy life there and to preserve the sanctity of the land by keeping the Torah and its commandments. Without the Torah the land of Israel is no more important than any other” [195:1240].

O Promised Land
Jessie E. Sampter

O little Land of lapping seas,
Of vineyards, vales and hills;
Of tender rains and rainbow plains,
Of deserts and of rills;
O little Land of mounting crags,
Of lonely height and deep;
A world away thy children stray
And long and wait and weep.


From Egypt’s flesh-pots, Lord of wrath,
With mighty outstretched hand,
Through seas and mountains cleave our path;
Oh! Lord, redeem our land!

I know the golden oranges
Englobed beneath the moon,
The sky that spills ‘twixt seas and hills
Its shining draught of noon;
The vines that bind our holy hills
With grapes like jewels set;
The silver green of olive sheen
Oh, can my soul forget?

O little Land of holy men
Of fearless dream and deed;
From clime to clime the storms of time
Have strewn thy hardy seed,
And fearless still and holy still,
We sang through hate and shame;
With faith we fought, with deed and thought
And God’s enduring name.

My heart is singing like a bird
Of home that still may be,
And joys I dared to leave, and spared,
Hold out their arms to me.
We cannot sleep in cushioned ease
Nor yield to martial will,
But we must hear God’s trumpet clear
Sound peace upon His Hill.