A Turn of the Century Thanksgiving Prayer by Walter Rauschenbush
by Susan Leem, associate producer
Photo by Brian Auer/Flickr, cc by-nc-nd 2.0
Thanksgiving is a time when many families gather in gratitude, and sometimes in prayer. Paul Raushenbush says his family prayer was written by his great-grandad, Walter Rauschenbusch. Composed around the turn of the twentieth century, the theologian and Baptist social reformer’s words remain as beautiful and poignant today as they did a hundred years ago.
Thanksgiving Day Prayer
by Walter Rauschenbusch (1861–1918)
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
Do you have a family prayer that you recite on Thanksgiving? How does your family give thanks?
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: A Twitterscript
by Susan Leem, associate producer
Krista’s interview with Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, the senior religion editor at the Huffington Post, is in the can. His pedigree reaches back to towering figures of the 20th century: social gospel reformer Walter Rauschenbusch (great-grandfather) and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (grandfather). He reminds us that religion is a valuable and increasingly essential vehicle for communication in our modern world.
We live-tweeted highlights of this 90-minute conversation and have aggregated them below for those who weren’t able to follow along. Look for our show with him in the coming weeks, and follow us next time at @BeingTweets.
- "I’m the only one in the history of the Presbyterian Church to fail confirmation…I just didn’t show up."@Raushenbush 1:09 PM Oct 5th
- "Only later did I realize what a big deal it was that Louis Brandeis’ daughter married a goy." @Raushenbush on his grandparents’ marriage. 1:15 PM Oct 5th
- If you have any questions for Paul @Raushenbush of @HuffPostRelig about contemporary religion, the social gospel movement, etc, please ask! 1:17 PM Oct 5th
- "(Walter) Raushenbush was in some ways a skeptic of religion…People can be converted and be worse than they were before."@raushenbush 1:21 PM Oct 5th
- "Social problems are moral problems on a larger scale." ~Walter Raushenbush, as quoted by his biographer/grandson Paul @Raushenbush 1:24 PM Oct 5th
- "Even if everything was perfect, we’d still need to be aware of the spirit moving in our lives so we continue to grow." @Raushenbush 1:28 PM Oct 5th
- Correction: great grandson! 1:30 PM Oct 5th
- "I have an interfaith heart. That’s just where I live." @Raushenbush 1:34 PM Oct 5th
- "What young people are looking for more than anything is authenticity." @Raushenbush 1:36 PM Oct 5th
- "It’s very hard to hurt someone who has shown you vulnerability." @Raushenbush 1:38 PM Oct 5th
- "I wrote Arianna an email and told her you’re not doing religion. You have to do religion."@Raushenbush on the launch of @HuffPostRelig 1:43 PM Oct 5th
- "The idea of liberal vs. religious is a crazy dichotomy." @Raushenbush 1:45 PM Oct 5th
- "What I’m not looking for is political view + Jesus." ~Paul @Raushenbush on bloggers + commenters for @HuffPostRelig 1:46 PM Oct 5th
- "Figure out what you believe and why you believe it." @Raushenbush 1:49 PM Oct 5th
- "To be an educated leader in the world you…have to be able to talk to people across religious divides." @Raushenbush 1:52 PM Oct 5th
- "I want people to feel that there’s a basic humanity to the site." -@Raushebush on cultivating @HuffPostRelig 1:58 PM Oct 5th
- "The question is are we willing to be on the same page; some people are just not." @Raushenbush 2:06 PM Oct 5th
- "I want you to reference the richness of your tradition, so I can learn." -@Raushenbush 2:09 PM Oct 5th
- "Interfaith dialogue is for people who take religion and big ideas seriously and want to go deeper." -@Raushenbush 2:11 PM Oct 5th
- "The power of religion is to offer a transcendent vision of more than just me." -@Raushenbush 2:16 PM Oct 5th
- "The idea that religious people have some sort of monopoly on morality is absurd." -@Raushenbush 2:18 PM Oct 5th
- "The Internet is basically neutral; it’s what we bring to it." -@Raushenbush 2:20 PM Oct 5th
- "My primary sense of who I am is as a minister." -Paul @Raushenbush 2:23 PM Oct 5th