I feel like I have been nothing but critical lately – which may be connected to my general mood or just because I hit some hymns that don’t work for me. But this morning – this weird morning that on Long Island is disturbingly warm (53 degrees) and blustery and elsewhere is bitterly cold and icy – I will dwell on the positive.
Well, for starters, the tune (Was Gott Thut – “what does God do?”) is a sweet German melody. It’s easy to sing and isn’t boring at all.
The lyrics suggest this would make a great sung grace at a big event like Thanksgiving – at least the third stanza. And, if for any reason For the Beauty of the Earth can’t fulfill its duties, we can call in this one as a substitute.
What’s interesting is that this was also in Songs for the Celebration of Life (the previous [blue] hymnal) – so Unitarian Universalists for a while have felt it necessary to have one and a spare when it comes to thanking the divine for nature with a hymn that features a repeating chorus.
So yay. It’s a spring hymn of thanks. Five days before Christmas during a terrible cold snap. Yay!
For flowers that bloom about our feet,
for tender grass so fresh and sweet,
for song of bird and hum of bee,
for all things fair we hear or see: Giver of all, we thank thee.
For blue of stream and blue of sky,
for pleasant shade of branches high,
for fragrant air and cooling breeze,
for beauty of the blooming trees: Giver of all, we thank thee.
For this new morning with its light,
for rest and shelter of the night,
for health and food, for love and friends,
for everything thy goodness sends: Giver of all, we thank thee.
Okay, so I really actually like that last verse. I’d sing that for grace on Christmas Day. In fact, I might.