There has been much talk of schism and conflict within the ELCA and in the media portrayal of our church this week. Other people have claimed that the center will hold, that our common confession, creed, and community will keep us together through disagreement. Only time will tell what actually occurs, but I do know that the ELW is filled with hymns of unity, not hymns of division.
We sang several of those hymns this past Sunday, including "The Church's One Foundation" whose third verse could not be more appropriate:
Though with a scornful wonder this world sees her oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping; their cry goes up: "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song.
Foundational hymns of faith of that quality can stir optimism even in the darkest of times.