Songs of Love and Justice

Song Cycle by Adolphus Cunningham Hailstork (b. 1941)

Word count: 286

1. Justice [sung text checked 1 time]

When evil men plot, good men must plan. 
When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. 
When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, 
good men must commit themselves to the glories of love. 
Where evil men would seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, 
good men must seek to bring into being a real order of justice.

Authorship

Note: this is a prose text. The line-breaks are arbitrary.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Difficulties [sung text not yet checked]

And I think this is what Jesus means when he says, “Love your enemies.” 
And I’m so happy he didn’t say, “Like your enemies,” because 
it's kind of difficult to like some people. (laughter) 
Like is sentimental; like is an affectionate sort of thing. 
And you can’t like anybody who’s bombing your home 
and threatening your children. It’s hard to like a senator 
who’s spending all of his time in Washington standing against 
all of the legislation that will make for better relationships 
and that will make for brotherhood. It’s difficult to like them. 
But Jesus says, “Love them,” and love is greater than like. 
Love is understanding, redemptive, creative goodwill for all men. 
And so Jesus was expressing something very creative when he said, 
“Love your enemies. Bless them that curse you. 
Pray for them that despitefully use you.”

Authorship

From "Loving Your Enemies", a sermon delivered at the Detroit Council of Churches' Noon Lenten Services, March 7, 1961. Line-breaks have been added arbitrarily.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

3. Decisions [sung text not yet checked]

In a sense every day is judgment day, 
and we, through our deeds and words, 
our silence and speech, 
are constantly writing in the Book of Life.

Light has come into the world, and 
every man must decide whether he will walk 
in the light of creative altruism 
or the darkness of destructive selfishness. 
This is the judgment. 
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, 
“What are you doing for others?”

Authorship

Note: this is an excerpt from a (prose) sermon. Line breaks have been added arbitrarily.


Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

4. Love [sung text checked 1 time]

Love is the only force 
capable of transforming 
an enemy into a friend.

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]