Meditations for Earth Day

I’ve never thought of myself as much of an environmentalist, but I grew up in a very rural area, surrounded by woods, grass, creeks, and all kinds of critters. (Sometimes known as “wildlife” in non-Southern regions!) The older I get, and the more my husband and I move around, the more I’ve come to appreciate nature in its many different forms, and it breaks my heart to think of how carelessly, even callously, we sometimes treat the beautiful home that God has given us. Being pregnant in the Spring brings this to mind even more, as everything is blooming and beautiful. I am so grateful for the natural treasures God has entrusted to us, and I can’t wait to share them with my daughter as she grows up.

Earth Day falls on Sunday, April 22, and there couldn’t be a more perfect time to reflect on the beauty and creativity of the Lord and to thank Him for this gorgeous place He’s given us to live!

There are many, many hymns and songs that are appropriate for this time of year, and it was hard to narrow them down. Below are five favorites, but if you feel the urge to dig for more, this is a great resource. I’ve included the texts for the lesser known pieces. Happy Earth Day!

For the Beauty of the Earth–John Rutter
For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love
which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Over and around us lies

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the beauty of the hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale
And tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth
And friends above
For all gentle
Thoughts and mild
For all gentle
Thoughts and mild

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given
Graces human and divine
Flow’rs of earth and buds of heav’n
Flow’rs of earth and buds of heav’n

Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn, our joyful hymn of praise
This our joyful hymn of praise

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands–arr. Marian Anderson, performed by Jessye Norman and Kathleen Battle

His Eye is On the Sparrow–performed by Kathleen Battle

This is My Father’s World–instrumental guitar
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

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

This is my Father’s world
why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King, let the heavens ring
God reigns, let the earth be glad!

All Things Bright and Beautiful–John Rutter

One thought on “Meditations for Earth Day”

  1. Being young in the 60’s, This Land Is Your Land by W. Guthrie was a familiar favorite, even though is was written a generation earlier. It, along with many other folk songs, was an introduction for my generation to many issues of social and economic justice.

    Seldom sung or read through to the end (the first few positive verses are usually about all that’s done), as a whole, Guthrie implies that the beauty and bounty of the land should redound to the well being of the people. And, I would add, our well being depends on our efforts in maintaining that beauty and bounty.

    The allusion to ‘dust clouds rolling’ reminds us that even minimal soil conservation efforts did not begin in earnest until after the onset of the drought and dust bowl conditions of the 30’s.
    By then many of Guthrie’s ‘people’ were on ‘relief’ or on the road. Conservation has consequences.

    THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND
    words and music by Woody Guthrie

    Chorus:
    This land is your land, this land is my land
    From California, to the New York Island
    From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
    This land was made for you and me

    As I was walking a ribbon of highway
    I saw above me an endless skyway
    I saw below me a golden valley
    This land was made for you and me

    Chorus

    I’ve roamed and rambled and I’ve followed my footsteps
    To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
    And all around me a voice was sounding
    This land was made for you and me

    Chorus

    The sun comes shining as I was strolling
    The wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
    The fog was lifting a voice come chanting
    This land was made for you and me

    Chorus

    As I was walkin’ – I saw a sign there
    And that sign said – no tress passin’
    But on the other side …. it didn’t say nothin!
    Now that side was made for you and me!

    Chorus

    In the squares of the city – In the shadow of the steeple
    Near the relief office – I see my people
    And some are grumblin’ and some are wonderin’
    If this land’s still made for you and me.

    Chorus (2x)

    ©1956 (renewed 1984), 1958 (renewed 1986) and 1970 TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (
    BMI)

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