This Is My Father’s World

morning-light1This morning at church we sang the hymn “This Is My Father’s World.”  Being Father’s Day, it seemed an appropriate choice.  This particular hymn has been a favorite of mine for a long time but as we sang the song I noticed that the words in the Chalice Hymnal were different from the ones I grew up singing.  The first two verses were the same:

“This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears, all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.  This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise, the morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.  This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair; in the rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.”

The third verse started with words I was familiar with, “This is my Father’s world.  Oh, let me ne’er forget that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”  After this came the new words: “God trusts us with the world to keep it clean and fair, all earth and trees, the skies and seas, God’s creatures everywhere.”

Some research done this afternoon reveals that these last words were not part of the original hymn.  Still, I’m glad they somehow found their way into our hymnal.  Here we find an important reminder that having been blessed with a beautiful and marvelous world by our heavenly Father, we are now entrusted by Him to “keep it clean and fair.”  We need such reminders for if we do not keep the world clean and fair our ability to see and hear God “everywhere” will be hindered. It will also influence how future generations will be able to experience God in Creation.

On a day set aside to honor our earthly fathers, let’s pause to remember that one way we can honor our heavenly Father is by caring for and protecting His Creation.

–Chuck Summers

(The picture of “morning light” that appears above was taken recently at Pine Mountain State Park in Kentucky.)