June 21, 2020

June 21 Worship

Today's message isn't a Father's Day message, but it is about the song This Is My Father's World. Here's the order, and (as always) it's best to watch the video in full-screen mode.
  • 00.00 Chimes
  • 00.18 Prélude: This Is My Father's World
  • 03.35 Welcome
  • 04.03 Call to Worship (from Micah 6)
  • 04.18 Opening Prayer
  • 04.44 Message
  • 16.24 Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-15
  • 16.58 Communion Prayer with Institution
  • 18.27 Lord's Prayer
  • 18.52 Fraction
  • 19.22 Benediction
  • 19.42 Response: Go Now in Peace
We almost always sing This Is My Father's World to the tune TERRA BEATA, which was adapted specifically for Babcock's poem by Franklin Sheppard from an old English folk tune. Though the poem was originally written in sixteen four-line verses, we usually sing it in three eight-line stanzas, meaning most of Babcock's verses are omitted and now unknown. The omitted verses, however, carry some of the poem's deepest meaning and strongest scriptural allusions.

Though I love TERRA BEATA, I think it would also be nice to print the entire sixteen-verse poem in hymnals, suggesting that congregations pick and choose from among them to sing This Is My Father's World to an appropriate SM tune, such as ST. THOMAS (I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord).

This is my Father's world.
The day of its wondrous birth,
the stars of light in phalanx bright
sang out in heavenly mirth.

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;
from his eternal throne
he watch doth keep when I'm asleep.
and I am not alone.

This is my Father's world;
dreaming, I see his face—
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise,
cry, "The Lord is in this place!"


This is my Father’s world.
I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze
God makes his glory known.

This is my Father's world;
among the mountains drear,
'mid rending rocks and earthquake shocks
the still, small voice I hear.

This is my Father’s world,
from the shining courts above,
the Beloved One, his only Son,
came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world.
Now closer to heaven bound,
for dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father's world;
his love has filled my breast:
I am reconciled, I am his child,
my soul has found its rest.

This is my Father’s world,
a wanderer I may roam;
whate’er my lot, it matters not,
my heart is still at home.

This is my Father’s world.
O let me ne’er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:
the battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
and earth and heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world.
Why should my heart sad?
The Lord is King! Let the heavens ring!
God reigns! Let the earth be glad!

The Chalice Hymnal of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) included 4 of the above verses in two SMD stanzas, and added a third stanza which adapts another of Babcock's verses, plus a thought of its own in a clumsy attempt to drive home a point that the original author has already made many times over:

Our God has made this world;
oh, let us ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
God trusts us with this world,
to keep it clean and fair.
All earth and trees, the skies and seas,
God's creatures everywhere.


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