I’m leading the Adult Bible Study at West End Collegiate Church this morning.
We will start by talking about various passages throughout scripture that talk about the earth belonging to God (Psalm 24 is one of the lectionary passages for the day) and look at what they teach us about ecology and theology.
From there we will explore the Hebrew word erets (which means “earth” or “land”), eco-theology, a theology of Wall-E, and the Year of Jubilee, all landing on the question of what church and/or faith traditions have taught us about ecology.
Lastly we will turn to various hymns, for the songs we sing have always been one of the greatest source of theological education in churches throughout history.
I’m compiling the lyrics to various hymns fertile with eco-theology roots and stumbled upon six verses to This Is My Maker’s World (commonly known as This Is My Father’s World but I’ve parsed out the gendered pronouns for God — you’re welcome). I’ve always been a fan of the hymn but after singing all six verses in my head (and maybe a little bit out loud) it is officially my favorite.
Can you guess what parts I like best?
This Is My Maker’s World
This is my Maker’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Maker’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; God’s hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Maker’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Maker’s world: God shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear God pass; God speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Maker’s world. O let me never forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Maker’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and Heaven be one.
This is my Maker’s world, dreaming, I see God’s face.
I open my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Maker’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, God’s Only Son, came — a pledge of deathless love.
This is my Maker’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Maker’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 Maker’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes God’s glory known.
This is my Maker’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whatever my lot, it matters not, my heart is still at home.