Commentary

Don't Fear, You Good Earth 
FOUNDATION 11.11.11.11 ("How Firm a Foundation")

Don’t fear, you good earth; now rejoice! Have you heard?
The Lord has created you by his own word.
Don’t fear, all you fields for God sends you the rain.
The farms overflow with the wine, oil and grain.

Don’t fear, all you creatures who live in the field;
The pastures are rich and they give their full yield.
You creatures, now sing— for the meadows are green;
Around us, good gifts of creation are seen!

O God, as the prophet proclaimed long ago,
You care for your earth and your gifts overflow.
Though sin leads to things that disrupt and destroy,
You work to redeem and to bring life and joy.

This season, we gather to thank you and say:
O God, you continue to bless us today!
May we who’ve been blessed by the gifts of your hand
Now care for the water, the air and the land.

Hymn Note: Thanksgiving is an opportunity to celebrate the goodness of what God has done and to remember our responsibility to care for God’s gifts. As we have been blessed, so we are called to bless the earth and to care for it. William P. Brown of Columbia Theological Seminary wrote about Joel 2:21-23: “‘Do not fear’ is the most common command in Scripture. Distinctive of Joel is the divine address to soil (v. 21) and wild animals (v. 22; cf. 1:10). Not only are God’s people restored (v. 23) but also nature’s potency, indicated in the renewal of the land. Joel’s prophetic message, one that conveys both judgment and restoration, bears a distinctly ecological thrust.” (1) This hymn gives thanks for God’s care for creation (verses 1 - 3), acknowledges our sin that damages and destroys it, and is a prayer that we may be good stewards of what God has made.

Tune: Traditional American melody ("How Firm a Foundation")

Text: Copyright © 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Email: bcgillette@comcast.net New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com

Permission is given for free use of this hymn to those who support Sojourners. The hymn is available online with music as a free download from Presbyterians for Earth Care

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of over 400 hymns that have been sung by thousands of congregations around the world, and are found in 20 books and thousands of web sites, including www.carolynshymns.com. Many of her hymns are published at Sojourners and are also found in Christian Century magazine, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and PBS-TV. She and her husband Bruce are Presbyterian ministers who have served congregations in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, and New Jersey. View the Sojourners video on Carolyn's hymns here.

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