Tag Archives: creation

The Spacious Firmament on High

The spacious firmament on high,
with all the blue ethereal sky,
and spangled heavens, a shining frame,
their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun from day to day
does his Creator’s power display;
and publishes to every land
the work of an almighty hand.

Soon as the evening shades prevail,
the moon takes up the wondrous tale,
and nightly to the listening earth
repeats the story of her birth:
whilst all the stars that round her burn,
and all the planets in their turn,
confirm the tidings, as they roll
and spread the truth from pole to pole.

What though in solemn silence all
move round the dark terrestrial ball?
What though no real voice nor sound
amid their radiant orbs be found?
In reason’s ear they all rejoice,
and utter forth a glorious voice;
for ever singing as they shine,
“The hand that made us is divine.”

–Words: Joseph Addison (1672-1719); paraphrase of Psalm 19:1-6
–Music: CREATION, Franz Josef Haydn (1732-1809)

Audio recording of this hymn was captured on September 13, 2015 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle, Washington.

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Mothering God, you gave me birth

Mothering God, you gave me birth
in the bright morning of this world.
Creator, source of ev’ry breath,
you are my rain, my wind, my sun.

Mothering Christ, you took my form,
offering me your food of light,
grain of new life, and grape of love,
your very body for my peace.

Mothering Spirit, nurt’ring one,
in arms of patience hold me close,
so that in faith I root and grow
until I flow’r, until I know.

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Thy strong word did cleave the darkness

Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
at thy speaking it was done;
for created light we thank thee,
while thine ordered seasons run:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
dark as night and deep as death,
broke the light of thy salvation,
breathed thine own life-giving breath:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Thy strong word bespeaks us righteous;
bright with thine own holiness,
glorious now, we press toward glory,
and our lives our hopes confess:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

God the Father, Light-Creator,
to thee laud and honor be;
to thee, Light of Light begotten,
praise be sung eternally;
Holy Spirit, Light Revealer,
glory, glory be to thee;
mortals, angels, now and ever
praise the Holy Trinity.

–Words: Martin H. Franzman (1907-1976)
–Normally sung to the tune Ton-y-Botel, by Thomas John Williams (1869-1944)

This version of the above hymn is from The Hymnal 1982, according to the use of The Episcopal Church.

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Lenten Reflection – Day 30

Peccantem me quotidie, et non me paenitentem, timor mortis conturbat me: Quia in inferno nulla est redemptio, miserere mei, Deus, et salva me. –Choral piece by Cristóbal Morales (c. 1500–1553), video below

While I am sinning every day, and yet do not repent, the fear of death overwhelms me. For in hell there is no redemption. Have mercy on me, God, and save me.

It’s a crazy thing to think about…all of the opportunities we have in this lifetime. All of the beauty for us to experience in God’s creation. Some people live their lives without a second thought of life after death, or about how the decisions they make in this life might affect them, or their neighbor, or the next life. Others live their lives in constant fear, hesitant to go outside of their comfort zones or even to leave their immediate communities. Yet others live with a balance between both of those realities. It is an eery thing to think about all of the opportunities we have in this lifetime…to think that when we die, those opportunities will be gone. What influences how you make your decisions? Do you think about how your decisions affect others, or how things might be in the afterlife?

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Lenten Reflection – Day 28

The other day, I was sitting outside on my deck, enjoying the warmth of the spring sun. It’s a truly wonderful thing to experience after such a long, cold winter. As I sat there, enjoying a cold beer, this beautiful bee settled down on the table in front of me. I looked at the bee, and my mind was stunned in amazement. There is so much beauty, wonder, and diversity in creation. There are creatures on this planet that are beyond our wildest imaginations. As we continue to learn more about our planet, and how our actions impact the variety of life on it, I believe that it is every Christian’s responsibility to respect the sanctity of all of creation. I believe that the beauty and wonder of creation is just a glimpse into the wonder and awe that is God. I pray that each Christian learn to respect the sanctity of all life on this planet…human life and plant life, wild animal life and deep sea life. It is all sacred and beautiful. It is all a reflection of the diversity and beauty of our Creator. Thank you, God, for such a beautiful place for us to call home!

bee

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Lenten Reflection – Day 19

Out on a walk in the park the other day, I took this photo of the naked treetops reaching toward the sky. I stopped and stared for at least a minute. I got distracted when I realized passers by might think something was wrong with me…standing there staring up at the treetops. But then I refocused and stared some more and took this picture. I love finding beauty in unconventional places. The more I learn to see beauty in hidden places, the more I feel in communion with God with with all of creation. Thank you, God, for letting there be so much beauty hidden throughout all of creation!

treetops

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Lord of the springtime…

Lord of the springtime
Father of the flower, field and fruit,
smile on us in these earnest days,
when the work is heavy and the toil wearisome;
lift up our hearts, O God, to the things worthwhile —
sunshine and night, the dripping rain, the song of birds,
books and music, and the voices of friends.
Lift up our hearts to these this evening
and grant us thy peace.

–From Earth Prayers from Around the World by W.E.B DuBois, p. 293.

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Canticle of the Creatures

Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
all praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through all you have made,
and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;
and through whom you give us light.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor;
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.

All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars; in the heavens you have made them,
bright, and precious, and fair.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,
all the weather’s moods,
by which you cherish all that you have made.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how cheerful!
Full of power and strength.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister
Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers
and herbs.

All praise be yours, my Lord,
through those who grant pardon for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy are those who endure in peace,
By You, Most High, they will be crowned.

All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your will!
The second death can do them no harm.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks
And serve him with great humility

–by: St. Francis of Assisi

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All Creatures of our God and King

(the italicized stanzas are not sung in this version)

All creatures of our God and King,
lift up your voices, let us sing:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beams,
thou silver moon that gently gleams,

Refrain:
O praise him, O praise him,
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong,
ye clouds that sail in heaven along,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou rising morn, in praise rejoice,
ye lights of evening, find a voice,

Refrain

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
make music for thy Lord to hear,
Alleluia, alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
that givest man both warmth and light,

Refrain

Dear mother earth, who day by day
unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise him, Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
let them his glory also show:

Refrain

And all ye men of tender heart,
forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
praise God and on him cast your care:

Refrain

And thou, most kind and gentle death,
waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
and Christ our Lord the way hath trod:

Refrain

Let all things their Creator bless,
and worship him in humbleness,
O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
and praise the Spirit, Three in One:

Refrain

Words: after Francis of Assisi (1182-1226);
paraphrase of “Canticle of the Sun” by Francis of Assisi.
Music: Lasst uns erfreuen

All Creatures of our God and King, sung by Gloucester Cathedral Choir.

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“…a good and practical sort of immortality.”

As long as I live, I’ll hear the birds, and the winds, and the waterfalls sing. I’ll interpret the rocks and learn the language of flood, and storm, and avalanche. I’ll make the acquaintance of the wild gardens and the glaciers, and get as near to the heart of this world as I could. And so I did. I sauntered about from rock to rock, from grove to grove, from stream to stream, and whenever I met a new plant, I would sit down beside it for a minute or a day to make its acquaintance, hear what it had to tell. I asked the boulders where they had been, whither they were going and, when night found me, there I camped. I took no more heed to save time or to make haste than did the trees or the stars. This is true freedom, a good and practical sort of immortality.

–John Muir

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