This Week’s Video Clip: The Prayer of Saint Francis

I have always loved “The Prayer of Saint Francis.”  To me, it contains the heart of the gospel message.  So imagine my surprise a few years ago when a sung version of the prayer was featured in the closing minutes of the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  This version, sung by Sarah McLachlan, is nearly perfect in capturing the prayer’s essence.  Her voice and the musical arrangement complement the words rather than detract from them.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

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“If it’s Us or Them, It’s Us for Them” and “My Enemies Are Men Like Me”

Sometimes we followers of Jesus forget his actual teachings, some of which can be difficult, if not impossible, to follow.  In particular I am thinking about these verses from the Sermon on the Mount:  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (Mat 5:43-46, ESV)

These verses remind me of two songs.  One is a recent release by the group Gungor and the video is below. The other is an older song by Derek Webb, the lyrics of which follow the video.

My Enemies Are Men Like Me

Derek Webb

i have come to give you life
and to show you how to live it
i have come to make things right
to heal their ears and show you how to forgive them

’cause i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life
’cause how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me

so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me
peace by way of war
is like purity by way of fornication
it’s like telling someone murder is wrong
and then showing them by way of execution

and i would rather die
i would rather die
i would rather die
than to take your life
’cause how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me

so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me
when justice is bought and sold just like weapons of war
the ones who always pay are the poorest of the poor

so how can i kill the ones i’m supposed to love
my enemies are men like me
so i will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well
’cause my enemies are men like me

Just something to think about, my friends.