Hymn of Grateful Praise

An often-overlooked Thanksgiving hymn is For the Beauty of the Earth.  Perhaps it is passed over because the 19th Century text does not actually contain the word, “Thanks” in it anywhere.  Perhaps it is because the straightforward hymn is more closely associated with a standard Sunday morning hymn of praise.  Regardless, it is a song lyric that strikes me today as a great expression of personal and potentially corporate praise rooted in a deep sense of high praise, or praise rooted in a deep sense of thankfulness – works either way you look at it.  It speaks for me important words of worship today as I have been recounting blessings for which I am so very thankful, which causes my heart to burst into praise for the blessings of the Lord, and perhaps most importantly, for the Lord Himself (see stanza six).
 
A centerpiece of worship is remembering.  We do not gather, personally or corporately, to focus on our worship, or on how committed we are to worship. The core substance and content of Christian worship is found in Who we worship and what He has done – the Gospel of God in Christ.  One of the reasons our worship must be Word-driven is that the Bible tells us what God has done.  It tells us over and again.  Even the long genealogies of Matthew 1 reflect God’s sovereign hand at work to bring us Jesus.  Gospel – good news!  Remember.recount.rehearse.
 
These last few days Ebbie and I had an opportunity (aka “made” an opportunity) to be together in Florida – just to get away and reflect and enjoy some time.  Morning walks for me were times of recounting.rehearsing.remembering rich blessings.  The more I recall the more my heart sings.  “Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”  Of course walking along the Oceanside helps, even in the morning rain, to recount the beauty of the earth. It also brings floods of memories with children and grandchildren and offers hope for more thanks to the Lord’s healing hand.  “Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”  Healing and close calls bring to mind again the wonder of each hour of the day and of the night – every one a precious gift.  “Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”  Family . through all of life.what a gift!  The joy of human love, brother, sister, parent, child.”Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”  The church..the pangs of difficulties fade to black when recalling so many wonderful relationships, the priceless opportunity to be a part of peoples’ lives who are brothers and sisters in Christ.  The hope of eternity spent with the One body lifting holy hands above.  “Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”  O the joy of ear and eye, the heart and mind’s delight and this time of year especially for mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight.  My mind is full of flashes of memories of TLC and/or TMC singing ministry before Tennessee church bodies, before those in foreign lands, before brothers and sisters in other states.  It is gleeful to think of the sounds and songs being sung week after week led by the hearts, minds, and hands of you leaders.  “Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”
 
I find that if I give thanks long enough there is an eruption of spirit that follows as naturally as exhaling follows inhailing.  It is an eruption of praise. The same is true when the body is gathered and we remember.recount.rehearse.  That praise is not only appropriate because of all the listed blessings, but also because the Giver is with us, Incarnate.  It is the remembrance that offers proper perspective to all remembrances.  It is the Gift that encompasses all gifts including the very spirit of giving itself.
 
            For Thyself, best Gift Divine! To our world so freely given
            For that great, great love of Thine, peace on earth, and joy in heaven:
            Lord of all to Thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!
 
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving recounting memories of blessings, life, regeneration, renewal, and relationship.  Please know that as our family gathers and recounts our blessings, I will be giving special thanks for you.

Giving thanks and praise,
Paul
Explore posts in the same categories: Church Music, Congregational Singing, Hymnals, Leading Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Reminders

One Comment on “Hymn of Grateful Praise”

  1. k crunk Says:

    I will be adding this song to my next project. Thanks for featuring such a great song.Blessings


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