STLT#35, Unto Thy Temple, Lord, We Come

In case you forgot our Christian roots…

Unto thy temple, Lord, we come
with thankful hearts to worship thee;
and pray that this may be our home
until we touch eternity:

The common home of rich and poor,
of bond and free, and great and small;
large as thy love forever more,
and warm and bright and good to all.

May thy whole truth be spoken here;
thy gospel light forever shine;
thy perfect love cast out all fear,
and human life become divine.

This is a very Christian hymn.

It is also a very Unitarian Universalist hymn.

Christian, because it imagines a transcendent, omnipresent, loving Divine… because it proclaims the message of Jesus… because it reflects on the kingdom of heaven….and yeah, because it references the gospel.

Unitarian Universalist because it imagines God as Love….because it affirms our first principle… because it reminds of us our call to help heal the world.

I point out the obvious in my processing this morning, because sometimes its helpful – especially in ecumenical and interfaith settings – to point out that we hold dear the core of Jesus’s ministry and that it informs who we are today. I like to say we take the assertions to their inevitable conclusions. For me, this hymn makes that connection clear. Yeah, at first I went “huh” at the language, especially seeing a “Lord” where that word has been so carefully excised elsewhere. But when you take a longer view, it may not be the specific theology of a plurality of UUs, it certainly reflects our theological foundations. And in these days of the run up to the election, its kind of nice to start the day with a hymn that reminds me of that greater truth – perfect love casts out fear. Yes.

Plus, the tune (Duke Street) totally works with this one.

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Learn more about my ministry at The Art of Meaning

Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice