Saturday, May 2, 2009

For Those Who Come After Us

Fionn's dedication ceremony is tomorrow and my minister asked me to arrange the ceremony, so I spent a portion of yesterday pouring over quotes and readings about children. I came across this reading, which summarizes perfectly how I've been feeling lately (although it's too dark to include in the ceremony):

"We pray for those who come after us, for our children, and the children of our friends, and for all the young lives that are marching up from the gates of birth, pure and eager, with the morning sunshine on their faces. We remember with a pang that these will live in the world we are making for them. We are wasting the resources of the earth in our headlong greed, and they will suffer want. We are building sunless houses and joyless cities for our profit, and they must dwell therein. We are making the burden heavy and the pace of work pitiless, and they will fall wan and sobbing by the wayside. We are poisoning the air of our land by our lies and our uncleanness, and they will breathe it.

"We have cried out in agony when the sins of our fathers have been visited upon us. Save us from maiming the innocent ones who come after us by the added cruelty of our sins. Help us to break the ancient force of evil by a steadfast will and to endow our children with finer ideals and nobler thoughts. Grant us to leave the earth fairer than we found it; to build upon it cities of hope in which the cry of needless pain shall cease. May we be granted a vision of the far-off years as they may be if redeemed by us that we may take heart and do battle for our children."

From For Those Who Come After Us by Walter Rauschenbusch

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