Lord of Hosts to Thee we raise this, our hymn of grateful praise.
- First verse and refrain, For the Beauty of the Earth
Words by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint (1864)
As Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, I think of this beautiful hymn which many of us associate with this time of the year. After all, when is the beauty of the earth ever more appreciated than during the harvest season when we see first hand so much of the bounty that the Lord has provided us? You can bet the early colonists understood that, particularly those who would likely have starved had not the Indians introduced them to the myriad of North American crops that they previously never enjoyed. And today, we have the cornucopia of nutritious food right at our fingertips, thanks to those who make their living toiling on the land so that we all might eat well. The many interesting roadside markets give ample proof to our good fortune and I hope that whenever we visit them we are thankful for what they represent.
Also consider a crisp fall morning as the sun rises when we can see our exhalation from breathing as a momentary cloud in the air and the tingling feeling we get from the cold air which urges us to be more energetic. And while the beautiful colors of the leaves will disappear when they finally fall, the joy of watching the first frost looking like a light dusting of snow prepares us for the next season to come. And oh, those late season football games when we forget the cold and become enthralled in the action, rooting for the home team to win the big game which will cap off the season. These and so many other things make fall magical and they leave memories that will last a lifetime.
So, with the coming of the cooler weather, our thoughts turn to the upcoming Thanksgiving feast and the following period which is when families and friends gather together probably more closely than any other time of the year. After all, and it's something we often forget, from Thanksgiving until just a few days before Christmas is all in the fall and what a fitting way for the fall to end than the anticipation of the celebration and pageantry of the birth of the Christ Child which will then be with us. It offers us hope for peace, love and fellowship as the big day approaches.
We are now in the throes of the middle of fall, so be of good cheer, for it is a time to remember and thank God for all those things we have and to spend time with others who we love. And if we want to really make it a success, remember to do something special and be kind to those who aren't so fortunate. Let the Son shine brightly on all humanity in this season of the year. No one should be fearful, hungry and alone at such a time. Let us vow to do our part to make that goal a reality. Enjoy the fall and what it means.