The deep, dark secret of the church is that the beliefs and convictions of Christians are often shaped far more by the hymns we sing than the theological tomes gathering dust on our bookshelves. Songs are avenues for praising God, but they are also tools for imparting knowledge. Singing is a theological exercise, so the words printed in hymnbooks or flashed on screens deserve attention and reflection.

A Hymn We Sung Last Week


Friend of the streetwalker, beggar, and child,
lifting and blessing the weak and reviled,
welcoming those the devout turned away:
Jesus, we need your example today.

Take from us prejudice, hatred, and scorn,
fear and suspicion of anyone born
outside our fences of money and race:
help us, O God, not to shun but embrace.

Open our hearts and our heads and our hands,
let us experience how caring expands
past all the labels and limits we learn:
Spirit of mercy, enlarge our concern.

Three-personed Mystery, multiple One,
joined by diversity never undone:
may we more truly your image reveal,
coming together to make your love real.