YOU GAVE US, GOD (words by Fred Kaan)                    

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The Audio Sample below is one verse played on piano by Ron Klusmeier.

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You gave us, God, this earth to hold and cherish,
to praise you in our use of time and space,
but— blinded by our greed— the people perish;
we throw the gift of freedom in your face.

As with unhuman madness we offend you
and with our bombs and bullets break your heart,
with money made from conflict we un-friend you,
we tear with prejudice your world apart.

We glorify the sin of pointless dying
through mines and missiles poised in soil and sea,
perfect the curse of daily crucifying
the Prince of Peace, each other, you and me.

Raise up among us prophets who will guide us
through action, speech and silence to your peace,
where fear, mistrust no longer will divide us,
where hurt is healed and captives are released.

Renew in us our faith and trust in Jesus,
the Man, the Woman in your image made,
and speak again your Word that truly frees us
to beat our sword into a simple spade.

Author / Composer Comments

• Author Fred Kaan, from his book The Only Earth We Know (Stainer & Bell / Hope Publishing Co., 1999, page 98): “I wrote this hymn for the 1986 ‘Bread, Not Bombs Week’, an event organized annually by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.”

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