On Sunday morning, I sat in the church sanctuary with my family. The light of brilliant sunshine poured through the windows as a glorious Lord’s day warmed with the passing hours. In the light of such a beautiful day, I couldn’t help but think that this must have been the kind of morning that the hymnwriter was thinking of when he penned the words to the second verse of the hymn we were singing, “This Is My Father’s World”:
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 rustling grass I hear Him pass; He speaks to me everywhere.
Then my mind was transported to another place, and I wondered if perhaps it was a morning like the one that broke that day over the city of Kyiv, Ukraine, that the hymnwriter had in mind when he wrote the third verse:
This is my Father’s world, oh let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is our ruler yet.
It was important for me to remember that when the morning is crowned with the glory of God’s creation, this is my Father’s world; and when the morning is clouded with the cruelty of man’s destruction, this too is my Father’s world, and He is there for both those who are at peace and those who are hurting. It is an encouragement to remember this truth as we pray for peace and for a day when “earth and heaven be one”.
Our closing hymn this Sunday also spoke to my heart. The second verse of “Be Still, My Soul” proclaims, “Be still my soul, the waves and wind still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.” It is such a comfort to know the Master of the waves and wind. There is no ruler so bold nor army so strong that it can take His throne. May the Prince of Peace bring peace to our troubled world.
~ Matt Kinnell, NHIM Board Chair