For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth over and around us lies:
Christ, our God, to thee we raise this our sacrifice of praise.
“For the Beauty of the Earth” ELW 879 –
On one of my nephew’s recent visits, we looked out the window at our backyard and marvelled at the new – and returning – life we were seeing: animals scurrying, birds chirping, and green starting to spread across the yard. As I took in the view of the backyard, I couldn’t help but wonder how his little eyes were taking in the same scene. There was a sense of wonder as his eyes darted from one place to the next, his mouth periodically opening in surprise as he turned to me to make sure I was seeing this squirrel or hearing that gust of wind.
The whole experience was truly awe-inspiring. It was awe-inspiring in that it inspired awe in my eyes, which have seen many more spring-like days than him. Rather than seeing the remnants of brown grass and dead leaves, I looked more intentionally at the life that was blooming before me found my eyes darting back and forth just like his as I took in as much as I could of the beauty before me. All this life was part of the immense beauty of this earth, the skies, and all of God’s creation.
Every year around this time we celebrate the return of warmer weather and the life it brings. Maybe it’s just me, but also around this time I find myself humming the hymn quoted above: “For the Beauty of the Earth.” It’s a wonderful, beloved hymn that not only sings praises to God for the beauty of the earth, but also for the “joy of human love” (verse 4) found in relationship with family members and friends, and for Christ, the “best gi divine” (verse 5).
It’s so appropriate and timely that the Easter Season happens around this time, as things for us in Minnesota are starting to thaw (sometime more than once) and turn green. As we celebrate this returning life, we remember and celebrate the eternal life we have been given
through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s for all this new life we have graciously received, as well as the beauty found in earth and above the earth that we raise our sacrifice of praise to Christ, our God.
Blessings to you during this Easter Season! May we all live into this new life we have been given as we bask in the new life that blooms all around us.