“For the Beauty of the Earth” ELW#879

Vs 2. For the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night, hill and vale and tree and flow’r, sun and moon and stars of light: Christ, our God, to thee we raise this our sacrifice of praise.

Photo by Yoksel 🌿 Zok on Unsplash

This famous hymn started running through my mind as I was working in the yard this weekend. I love watching the changes in the yard each season and each year. I keep an eye on things I added the year before and rejoice that they survived the winter (my favorite Limelight Hydrangea), and I furrow my brow at the things I didn’t plant that are thriving (creeping charlie). 

I used our back patio so much last year; it was part office, part video recording backdrop, and part relaxation space for a summer spent in “stay at home” mode. Thinking I might want to remodel my patio this summer, I’ve been paying attention to the light each hour in ways that I never have before. Where does the sun warm the patio for that first early morning cup of coffee? Where is there shade for mid-afternoon reading? Where should the table be so no one is squinting into the sun? This intentional observation time has taught me so much and I think the hymn is right: there are wonders each hour. 

Spring is more obvious than others, when crab apple blooms pop out in one day. But I suspect with careful watching there are wonders each hour all year round. What are the clouds doing? Which birds are singing ? What is spreading, blooming, creeping? What is the sun pointing to and how does the yard feel at night?  This hymn was written in the spring of 1863, by Folliott S. Pierpoint. He was inspired to write about God’s gifts in creation as he sat on a hilltop outside Bath, England, admiring the country view and the winding Avon River. He was, as we sing, paying attention to the “wonder of each hour.” 

What might it feel like to stop more often to pay attention to our own little views of creation? What wonders will you see?

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Let us pray:
Loving God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend. Amen.