Help Us Accept Each Other

Help us accept each other as Christ accepted us;
teach us as sister, brother, each person to embrace.
Be present, Lord, among us, and bring us to believe
we are ourselves accepted and meant to love and live.

Teach us, O Lord, your lessons, as in our daily life
we struggle to be human and search for hope and faith.
Teach us to care for people, for all, and not for some,
to love them as we find them, or as they may become.

Let your acceptance change us, so that we may be moved
in living situations to do the truth in love;
to practice your acceptance, until we know by heart
the table of forgiveness, and laughter’s healing art.

Lord, for today’s encounters with all who are in need,
who hunger for acceptance, for righteousness and bread,
we need new eyes for seeing, new hands for holding on;
renew us with your Spirit; Lord, free us, make us one!

— Fred Kaan, 1974

9 thoughts on “Help Us Accept Each Other

  1. Interesting photo, Thom.  At first glance, I assumed it was two women publicly projecting religious tolerance.  Looking at it again, I’m not so sure.  They could just as easily be standing side by side, each claiming a religious superiorty.  Either way, the prayer would be applicable.

  2. One of my favourite hymns, that I have yet to hear sung in church!  Thank you, Thom.

  3. We sang it in church today. Back when Britain first allowed all members of the U.K. to migrate, several of Kaan’s parishioners came to him complaining about the influx of Pakistanis. He wrote this hymn in response.

  4. Thanks for that interesting information.  Another of his hymns that I like is Break not the circle of enabling love – but the chances of ever hearing that in my church are about the same as my climing Mount Everest :)

  5. I’m not so sure Jesus was THAT accepting of many “Pharisees” and “Saducees,” whom he apparently “cursed.” Jesus (and/or the early church) was competing for acceptance of his (their) beliefs vs. others that had become established in Jerusalem. And Jesus was rewriting Leviticus in his sermon on the mount. Over 1700 years later “liberals” attempted to reinterpret the “orthodox” creedal beliefs propounded during the first few centuries of Christianity.

    Lastly, why not seek to “accept each other,” without (or with less) “Christy” talk?

  6. Very lovely prayer, Thom. I wonder if I can sneak this into the Roman Missal before this coming Advent. For as lovely as the prayers my parish and I pray are, they sometimes lack the profoundity of the prayer you have given us, as well as the one Edward had given us.

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