Happy Birthday, America. A lot has happened this year, as always, some good and some bad. Most of us survived or died a natural death. Many of us left mourn losses which make no sense.
One distinction of aging is feeling others’ pain better than when I was young. I think more now about lives unfulfilled, and the bravery of those who swear to protect complete strangers, and the struggles faced by sorrowful men and women and children.
A friend sent this adaptation of Psalm 122 by Stephen Mitchell, taken from his book, A Book of Psalms, published 1993 by Harper Collins. It is a good one to recite often these days.
I rejoiced when I heard them announce,
“The time of warfare is past.
No more will brother hate brother
or violence have its way.
No more will they drown out God’s silence
and shut their hearts to his song.”
Pray for peace in the cities
and harmony among the races.
May peace come to live on our streets
and justice within our walls.
With all my heart I will pray
that peace comes to live among us.
For the sake of all earth’s people,
I will do my utmost for peace.