Hymn of the Month for May: "This Is My Father's World"

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night showeth knowledge. (Psalm 19:1-2)

Have you ever heard the planets sing? How about the stars, have you ever heard them shout? I know you have heard the wind as it joins with the trees and the mountains to perform a magnificent trio. You certainly have heard the birds singing and the animals making whatever noise that God has given them voice to make. You may have even listened to the song of the whales.  So the psalmist was right, both heaven and earth declare the glory and presence of God.

Maltbie Babcock was an athlete. He was an baseball player, a championship swimmer and he loved to run to stay in shape. He was also a pastor in Lockport, New York. Some mornings he would tell his staff “I’m going out to see my Fathers world.” and then he would run. He would run to a hill about two miles away where he could look out over Lake Ontario. He stood, caught his breath, and marveled at the beauty of the God’s creation. Then he would run two more miles through a wooded ravine where over forty different species of birds serenaded him. The next leg of his journey brought him back to the church.

Maltbie was not only an athlete, he was a lover of nature and also a musician. It should not surprise you that one day following his run he sat and wrote these lines.

This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears
all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father's world: I rest me in the thought
of rocks and trees, of skies and seas; his hand the wonders wrought.
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 the rustling grass I hear him pass; he speaks to me everywhere.
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!

The beauty of nature around us is a shining evidence of our God. He is there to see in all that is fair and true and right. It is also an encouragement and comfort to know that he is still a ruler who still reigns. Even today in the turmoil of our world in the frightening day that may be ahead. Even when wrong is called right and men love hate. Our God is still king and all of heaven tells it. As children of God let us rest in the fact that “This is My Father’s World”.

- Sam Leslie, Minister of Music