Tag Archives: creation

Hymns for the harvest

It’s Harvest time here in the UK. The leaves are starting to turn from green to gold and, in the places where agriculture is still a way of life, crops are being gathered.

Churches still celebrate harvest although the old-style services, with mountains of fresh produce, have largely been replaced by tables groaning with gifts for the community foodbanks, often run by Christians. Whoever said that the church is out of touch has never seen the engagement of Christians with the poorest and most deprived people in our communities – made visible today through gifts of pasta, tea and toilet rolls as well as ongoing debate with politicians as to why people have been shoved to the bottom of the pile in this way.

Yet still, because God has promised there will always be a harvest of the field and the sea, the church celebrates God’s goodness in song.

Here are two hymns, written not simply for harvest but as reminders that the riches of all we see around us come from our heavenly Father.

The first, From sandy cove and surfer’s wave can be sung to the familiar tune Repton. The second lyric, Heaven’s heart is pulsing, goes most comfortably with the tunes associated in the UK at least with Who is on the Lord’s side?, so Rachie or Armageddon.

From sandy cove and surfer’s wave
to sun-kissed cliff and moor;
From farmer’s field to rambler’s path
and seagull’s cry to children’s laugh
the whole creation sings
the whole creation sings

Creator God, your name is heard,
in every wind that blows;
in summer breeze and sailor’s gales
we hear of love that never fails
and all creation sings
and all creation sings

From great cathedrals’ soaring praise
To voices cracked with age;
from chapel pulpit, market hall
our lives will echo one and all
that all creation sings
that all creation sings

To you, who spoke the Word of Life
and saw Creation grow;
to you who heard the new world ring
we offer all that we can bring
‘til all creation sings
‘til all creation sings

Copyright © Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG http://www.songsolutions.org

Heaven’s heart is pulsing
to Creation’s hymn:
as the Father speaks, the
new world starts to sing.
Light and love are radiant –
everything is good.
All the world is ringing
with the song of God.

Say among the nations,
‘let the earth rejoice,
for the Lord is worthy
of our highest praise’.

Golden on the hillside,
shines the evening light.
All of heaven’s palette
shades the infinite.
Every life is marked as
God’s own work of art:
won, through cross and suffering;
saved and set apart.

Say among the nations,
‘let the earth rejoice,
for the Lord is worthy
of our highest praise’.

Now Salvation’s rhythm
moves our feet and hands:
‘do the works of justice’
is the Grace command.
Make us more than singers
in redemption’s choir,
so the lives around us
see our hearts on fire.

Say among the nations,
‘let the earth rejoice,
for the Lord is worthy
of our highest praise’.

Tunes: Rachie, Armageddon (Who is on the Lord’s Side)

Copyright © 2011 Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG http://www.songsolutions.org

Rob and rest

The creativity of God and the genius of Rob Lacey collided very powerfully in a nursing home today when just a few of us shared worship.

When I go into the chapel in this home, there are only a handful of us. Some don’t appear to be connected to this world until we get to the Lord’s Prayer when the volume suddenly increases. Others tell me how much they have been anticipating my visit – they are one of my churches and one which appreciates creativity even though we only have about 20 minutes before sleep and other distractions get in the way.

Today, as well as singing hymns, we listened to the Creation story from Genesis 1 as told by Rob Lacey from his live performance of the Street Bible/Word on the Street. Then, after listening to Cathy Burton’s gorgeous version of the song Indescribable, we thought for as few minutes of the importance of resting. Surely, if even God chose to take a day out, it matters. Even the residents of the nursing home, who you might think have nothing to do all day, recognised that there’s a difference between not working and actually resting; especially resting in God.

Ask yourself, when did you last have a sabbath? When did you last just stop, completely cease from activity and take time to be with God in stillness and silence?

For some of us, Sunday is the last possible day to do that. It’s just stupidly busy. But the principle of Sabbath isn’t the same as observing the Lord’s day if by that you mean Sunday and if on Sunday you are any kind of church leader. Many of us finish a Sunday more exhausted than we began it. That’s no kind of Sabbath.

When God completed the business of Creation he stood back and declared it good. Then he stopped and rested. He was confident enough in what he had done to leave it alone for a period. Why shouldn’t we be the same?