This Our Hymn of Grateful Praise

 

wildflowersFor the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind’s delight,
For the mystic harmony
Linking sense to sound and sight.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy Church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the martyrs’ crown of light,
For Thy prophets’ eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors’ might,
For the lips of infancy.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy virgins’ robes of snow,
For Thy maiden mother mild,
For Thyself, with hearts aglow,
Jesu, Victim undefiled.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For each perfect gift of Thine,
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of Heaven.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Words by Folliot S. Peirpoint, 1864
Music by Conrad Kocher, 1838

 


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
Psalm 19:1 – 4

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11

For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.
Matthew 13:15 – 16

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,
Ephesians 6:19


 

Everybody loves getting a present.  To have someone surprise you with something new and unexpected.  It may be something you always wanted or it may be something that you had not thought of purchasing for yourself. In either case, it is something that someone went out of their way to get for you.

The other side is true as well.  Most people like to give gifts.  We love to see the surprise on a person’s face.  We love to see the excitement in their eyes.

Unfortunately there are exceptions to these situations.  This is usually the result of the attitude of those involved.  When we give a gift out of obligation, that is to say only because it is expected it takes the meaning out of it.  Or when the person is ungrateful, the joy and excitement is lost.

Yes, we are to accept gifts gratefully.  When we honestly stop to look at what has been given and the person behind the gift, being grateful is only the natural response.  This is the call that is presented to us in Folliot Peirpoint’s hymn “For The Beauty of the Earth.”

From the very beginning, Peirpoint presents us not simply with a command to be grateful, but reasons why we should be grateful.  He writes, “For the beauty of the Earth, For the glory of the skies.”  If we will simply look around us at the splendor of the world God has created we will see a reason to be grateful.  In fact, to not express our gratitude for creation, puts us behind the rest of creation for Psalm 19:1 – 4 tells us the nature itself expresses the majesty of God. It reads, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

The hymn goes on to declare, “For the beauty of each hour, Of the day and of the night.” This echoes the theme of Ecclesiastes 3:11 where we read, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” God’s beauty is revealed in time as he continues to bring forth the beauty of life.

Peirpoint continues by writing, “For the joy of ear and eye, For the heart and mind’s delight.” This draws our minds to the words of Jesus in Matthew 13:15 – 16 where we read, “they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.” Through the senses He has given us, we not only experience His creation, but we may know him.

But not only through nature or through the senses He has given us, He has revealed himself through those who declare His gospel.  The hymn reads, “For Thy prophets’ eagle eye, For Thy bold confessors’ might.” Yes, God has spoken through those who declare His word. So Paul writes in Ephesians 6:9, “Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”

Over and over again, Peirpoint presents us with reason that we have to be Grateful.  God has given so much and revealed the love that dwells within His heart.  When we stop to realize the gifts He has given, then we can not help but rise and proclaim, “our hymn of grateful praise.”

 

 

Read more about “For The Beauty of the Earth.”

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