From the Pastor’s Pen
“For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill & vale, and tree & flower sun & moon, and stars of light;Lord of all, to thee we raise his our hymn of grateful praise.” This verse is part of the hymn, For the Beauty of the Earth written by Folliot S. Pierpoint in 1864 at the age of 29. He was a classics schoolmaster in Bath, England. In the remaining stanzas of this hymn thanks is given for all human relationships –family, friends, and the fellowship of the Christian church encircling the world.
The hymn and particularly this verse came to mind because, even though summer provides a different pace, the days are full – and beautiful! Warmer weather draws us out-of-doors and urges us to notice lush vegetation, melodious bird songs, colorful flowers, cozy campfires, extra time with family members, refreshing breezes, and occasions to catch up with neighborhood news. We have a lot to praise God for!
Of course, there are the usual day-to-day matters and stresses that need to be handled responsibly –concerns for our families, our nation, our world, and our United Methodist denomination (see related articles in this issue of The Messenger). Butlet’s not allow the mistakes of the past or theuncertainties of the future steal the joy of God’sblessings in the present. (Again, see articles aboutVacation Bible School and Ed Naugle’s report on Susquehanna Annual Conference’s 10th session.)
Jesus gave the church its mission – to make disciples (Mt 28:19). Here at Evangelical UMC we do that through various means – worship, education, fellowship, and outreach. Jesus also said, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own (Mt. 6:34). So pause, breathe deeply the summer air, countGod’s blessings, and trustingly sing…
“Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!”
Pastor Lee Ellenberger