This hymn was originally used for the dedication of the 180 solar panels on the sanctuary of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware where I am the co-pastor. The first line of the last verse's original wording reflected the solar dedication: "At this solar dedication, may we hear your word anew."
I have written seven other hymns celebrating God's creation (mountains, beaches, animals and more) and environmental stewardship, which can be found at my Earth Care hymns web page on my hymns website.
At the Dawn of Your Creation
HYMN TO JOY 220.127.116.11 D ("Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee")
At the dawn of your creation, God, you spoke, "Let there be light!"
You divided earth from heaven, you created day and night.
You made sunbeams dance with shadows, you created energy!
Peaceful evenings, bright tomorrows, all began with "Let there be!"
By your word, you formed creation: dry land, water, ocean breeze.
Soon there burst forth vegetation -- plants with fruit, majestic trees.
Rain and snow and changing seasons, creatures filling land and sea --
God, your very good creation all began with "Let there be!"
When you made us as your children, sending us throughout your lands,
You commanded, "Have dominion -- care for earth; it's in your hands."
Yet we hurt this world you've given; we harm earth and sky and sea.
We forget it's your creation -- you, who once said "Let there be!"
At this joyful celebration, may we hear your word anew:
May we care for your creation, knowing it's a trust from you.
Just as daily there's a dawning, bringing light to all we see,
So we daily hear your calling -- you, who once said, "Let there be!"
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor(Discipleship Resources/Upper Room Books, 2009) and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship(Geneva Press, 2000) and the co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware. Sojourners' past postings by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette include hymns about gun violence, economic justice, Matthew 25/disaster relief, immigration, the Gulf oil spill and the war in Iraq. A complete list of the 180+ hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, many with peace and justice themes, can be found www.carolynshymns.com; E-mail: email@example.com.
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