Oh God, God of our Weary Years, God of our Silent
Tears, Thou, who has brought us thus far on the way!
Oh God, our help in ages past, Our help for years to come, Our shelter
from the stormy blast and our eternal home. Thou who has brought us
thus far on the way!
As we gather here amid the opulence and spaciousness of this place,
awaiting with bated breath, the historic occasion in which forty African
Americans will be sworn in to the 103rd Congress of the United Sates
We remember where you have brought us from; we remember the long devastating
years of slavery; we remember the bitter disappointments of post reconstruction;
we remember the dehumanization of Jim Crow; Yes, and we remember the
denials and discrimination that still wreaks havoc in the lives of our
Yes, we remember the pain and terror of by-gone years, the violence,
impoverishment, disease and despair of today. But through it all, we
have been faithful and hopeful – and so today our hearts pound
rhythmically in a steady beat of gratitude.
We know that we are not what we ought to be, we know that we are not
what we are going to be, but we thank thee, Oh Lord, for we know we
are not what we used to be.
We thank thee for the forty who will bring the hopes and aspirations,
yes, the hurts and desperation of their people to the national altar
bearing the awesome responsibility to usher in a better day.
We pray for all these leaders. The old and the new, of this their bountiful
land. We pray for the forty African American, sons and daughters of
former slaves. Let them forever feel the pain; let them forever hear
the moans of their people who have sent them here; let them always be
driven by the mandate to:
House the shelterless,
Take care of the needy,
Provide for the orphans and the aging,
Jobs for the jobless,
Medical care for the sick, and,
To fight for justice ad equality.
Grant that they may never stray from the path, Oh God, where they first
met thee, and become drunk with the wine of the world and forget thee.
In particular, Oh Lord, this weighs heavily on our hearts: The violence
in the streets. We are not unmindful of the violence in the suites.
Indeed, we do wonder sometimes, if there were no violence and lawlessness
in the suites or high places, if there would be any violence or lawlessness
in the low places or the streets.
We are forced to admit, that what we see in the streets of America,
what we see among our youth, is but a reflection of adults who have
set the moral tone, determining the values, and, fixing the priorities
that shape the social order.
Forgive us for our hypocrisy, our blindness and foolish ways and end
the violence in the streets.
How painful it is to ponder that so many of our youth never reach even
the noonday of their lives. They are cut short and sent to an early
grave by their own peers. These, our youth, kill each other more than
And in the violence as youth shoot at youth, so often the innocent are
caught in the crossfire. The old, the children, decent contributors
to society are senselessly snuffed out. They are in the words of the
street “mushroomed” –innocent bystanders crushed underfoot
of gunfire. How violent are the streets, Oh Lord, and the blood cries
out to thee for help.
In some of our great cities, gangs of youth clash with blazing knives
and deadly firearms. Dope and alcohol proliferates, rapes, muggings
and assaults abound on every side. The epidemic of AIDS escalates and
lawlessness is the talk of the street.
This pathology of the abnormal has not only decimated our communities
in terms of disease, violence and death, but also incarceration runs
into staggering numbers. Rights here, in this city, the capitol of the
United States of America, with its imposing buildings, where men and
women of power and prestige hold forth, this city of pomp and ostentation,
which pride itself on being the center of the world, 42% of men of African
Ancestry between 17-35 are in some way caught in the criminal justice
And so, Oh Lord, we commit these matters to your hand. They are more
than we can bear. But, with you, Oh Lord, all things are possible, with
your help, we can make a difference!
We can put an end to violence in the suites, as well as violence in
the streets. There can be peace in the valley. We can lay down our knives
and guns and study violence no more.
Grant, Oh Lord, that on this historic occasion, on this morning of our
soaring hopes that we might continue to move ahead with even greater
strides until in the not so distance future, we might reach the promised
To be continued…
Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday night forums
7pm to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.
Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum focusing on Africa the 2nd Saturday
from 12pm to 2pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House
of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord
Church @ (718) 596-1991.