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Monday, November 24, 2014

The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, your power has founded of old;
established it fast by a changeless decree,
and round it has cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Your bountiful care what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air; it shines in the light;
it streams from the hills; it descends to the plain,
and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
in you do we trust, nor find you to fail;
your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

Robert Grant’s “O Worship the King, All Glorious Above!”
(tune: Lyons)
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

There are books written about how different personality types are nurtured in their spiritual journey. For example, some find yoga, creating or listening to music, journaling, or a break from everyday routine helpful. Others find it renewing to engage in chanting, guided imagination, painting, or reading the psalms, while still others are fed by intercessory prayer, dream-work, walking slowly, or praying conversationally. But all types (according to Enneagram theory) find balance and are renewed spiritually by being in nature. This hymn conveys why: the earth around us is full of wonder and bounty. Creation proclaims a generous God, who brings forth vibrant colors and amazing creatures simply for the joyful sake of birthing and sustaining life. If one pauses to behold the beauty and power of creation, one can breathe in and be in awe of how God surrounds us with abundant care and blessings.

I have often been struck by the interconnectedness of creation, both its fragility and its resilience. The physical body itself is both vulnerable and yet able to heal. This hymn speaks of our own fragility as human beings and asserts that we put our trust in God. Why? Because God’s mercies are both tender and firm. God is the one we can count on without fail, to the end! What reason to sing praise: God, the Creator who made us, also comes to our defense, frees us for fullness of life, and is our friend forever. “Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?”

Stop me this day, O God, for moments when I will pause and breathe in the wonder of your generous, abundant love, so that my heart sings your praise and overflows in gratitude and love for you. Amen.

Written by Victoria G. Curtiss, Associate Pastor for Mission

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