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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Praise God, all you nations.
People of God, sing praise!
Praise God, all you nations.
People of God, sing praise:
God’s love is great,
and endures forever.
Praise God, all you nations.
People of God, sing praise!

“Praise God, All You Nations” (tune: Da N’ase)
Psalm 117;
para. Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song, 2011
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
Our diverse and multicultural world is a beautiful gift for us to witness during our human experience. We have the opportunity to learn from our sisters and brothers and cherish so many wonderful traditions beyond our borders and our everyday experiences. Unfortunately, it’s often these very differences that cause misunderstandings and conflict among countries. Tensions rise and war erupts simply because we don’t take the time to find the common ground we all share as humans.

Fourth Church has the wonderful spiritual opportunity to chant, sing, and pray in the style of Taizé. This communal form of prayer originated in Taizé, France, during World War II. It welcomed people of all faith traditions to sing and chant simple phrases, psalms, and scripture as one voice. While the world was being torn apart by violence and hate, a growing community formed in rural France to respond with song, praise, and peaceful worship. This pilgrim village, and its many global gatherings, embraces both the differences we have in our cultural makeup and the common faith we hold within our hearts.

Today’s psalm reminds us we are more alike than we are different, and we share one of the strongest bonds because of our faith in God. When we come together for prayer—whether it be for a weekly service, communal prayer, or our compassionate service to one another, let us remember we are all God’s people, a global community, and praise God for our diverse family.

Prayer
Dear God, you call each of us to be a part of your diverse family. Remind us to give you praise at all times. Despite our borders and boundary lines, we are your collective children longing for your infinite love. Amen.


Written by Jackie Lorens, Program Development Manager,
Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center


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