Thursday, November 16, 2006

As Men of Old Their First Fruits Brought

As Men of Old Their First Fruits Brought (No. 639 in our hymnal) is a wonderful thanksgiving text, but because the tune is somewhat unfamiliar here, we will not use it in worship this Sunday morning. I have enough else on my plate that I chose not to attempt to wrestle with how best to introduce something “new” right now. Here’s the text by Frank von Christierson for your enrichment. Maybe next year will afford us an opportunity to use it in corporate worship.

As men of old their first fruits brought,
Of orchard flock and field,
To God the Giver of all good,
The source of bounteous yield,
So we today first fruits would bring;
The wealth of this good land,
Of farm and market, shop and home,
Of mind, and heart, and hand.

A world in need now summons us
To labor love and give;
To make our life an offering
To God, that man may live.
The Church of Christ is calling us
To make the dream come true:
A world redeemed by Christ-like love;
All life in Christ made new.

In gratitude and humble trust,
We bring our best to Thee,
To serve Your cause and share Your love
With all humanity.
O Thou, who gavest us Thyself,
In Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Teach us to give ourselves each day
Until life’s work is done.

It raises the question in my mind: Does God get my first fruits, or only what I have left over at the end of all my expending of energies? That’s enough to think about for now.


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