Soul & Activism: a devotional

Week 1: Life Every Voice

Roger Butts
2 min readOct 5, 2020

Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson

Lift ev’ry voice and sing
’Til earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the list’ning skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on ’til victory is won

Stony the road we trod
Bitter the chastening rod
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died
Yet with a steady beat
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered
Out from the gloomy past
’Til now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light
Keep us forever in the path, we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee
Shadowed beneath Thy hand
May we forever stand
True to our God
True to our native land

Ponder. Reflect. Pray. Journal if you’d like. (See journal questions below.)

A Prayer

O Love Beyond Imagining,
We give thanks for the privilege of this time to reflect. We give thanks for silence and music and words
that lift our spirits and ground us in hope and peace. When we remember the stony roads we’ve trod,
give us opportunity to reflect on those who helped us along.
Give us opportunity to reflect on our own resilience. As we built a new path, and walk a new road,
give us faith, hope, and love.

Journal Questions

  1. What is bringing you hope right now?
  2. What is the light that you are being lead to?
  3. When you hear this song, or read this poem, who comes to mind? What does that person teach you about your path?

Check Out Lift Every Voice in Song:

Bonus Activity
Draw/paint/color the one who came to your mind.



Roger Butts

Author, Seeds of Devotion. Unitarian Universalist. Ordained 20 years.