Yesterday…after a long “Fall’s” nap, my stomach filled with delicious left-overs, I “moseyed” outside. The neighborhood was eerily quiet. Everyone, apparently, had left to go elsewhere for Thanksgiving dinner.
I grabbed my Iphone and simply began strolling around…enjoying the memories of Wednesday evening with family and friends. Suddenly the lyrics of “For the beauty of the earth” came flowing into my thoughts and I started humming along.
My walk and appreciation of God’s beauty must have been a similar experience for the author of this poem/hymn. He, too, took a stroll along the back country roads of England in 1863 and was inspired to put his feelings down in prose.
In 1863, Folliott S. Pierpoint was wandering through the English countryside around the winding Avon River. As he looked on the peaceful beauty surrounding him, he was inspired to reflect on God’s gifts to his people in creation and in the church. Above all, Pierpoint thought of the sacrifice of Christ, in the greatest of sacrifices, that of his life in return for ours.
He thus originally wrote the text of “For the Beauty of the Earth” as a hymn for the Lord’s Supper. The original chorus read, “Christ, our God, to thee we raise this, our sacrifice of praise.” The hymn was meant not only as a song of thanksgiving, but as the only thing we could give Christ in return for his mercy and love: a hymn of praise laid upon the altar as a sacrifice.
Editors have since altered the refrain so it has become a more generic hymn of thanksgiving, but as it stands, it takes on a deeper meaning when understood as something we not only sing, but offer up to God. (Source: Hymnary .org)
For the beauty of the earth,
for the glory of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies.
As I walking around the side yard…I noticed my sasanqua bush was covered with buds..and then I suddenly spotted it…the first “birth” of beauty and “love which from our birth over and around us lies.” blossoming out of the bud.
Refrain: Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.
For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flower,
sun and moon and stars of light
For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth, and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild
For yourself, best gift divine,
to the world so freely given,
agent of God’s grand design:
peace on earth and joy in heaven
We are a part of all who came before us and all who will follow…we are never alone in our journey…we are all part of God’s great plan for us. I find that to be the greatest blessing. Thank you God for life.
So until tomorrow…Take a few minutes and go discover the beauty of the earth….outside, inside, under, and above….we are surrounded by it.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Here are some beautiful photos Mary Fennemore sent me earlier in the week showing some photographs she took while in West Virginia earlier this year. I selected just a few I loved…but all of them were exquisite.
Since I enjoy seeing the pictures of your lovely garden I thought I'd send you some that I took. The attached photos were taken last spring in some of the garden areas of Capon Springs, a resort our family goes to in West Virginia, occasionally. The flowers were exquisite and the little signs and garden art, delightful. May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve Him with an Attitude of Gratitude! Psalm 118:1 Thank you Mary again for sending these photos! Thank everyone for the beautiful Thanksgiving thoughts you shared with me....I appreciated it so much!