Students sitting outside Bockman
Previous Day

Sunday, July 24, 2016

For the beauty of the earth,
for the beauty of the skies,
for the love which from our birth
over and around us lies:

Christ, our God, to thee we raise
this our sacrifice of praise.

For the wonder of each hour
of the day and of the night,
hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
sun and moon and stars of light:  Refrain

For the joy of ear and eye,
for the heart and mind's delight,
for the mystic harmony
linking sense to sound and sight:  Refrain

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above;
for all gentle thoughts and mild:  Refrain

For each perfect gift of thine,
peace on earth and joy in heav'n;
for thyself, best gift divine,
to our world so freely giv'n:  Refrain

My father memorized a massive amount of poetry--he said he began doing it while riding the combine in the field as a boy. He was always frustrated that one of his favorites was a poem he remembered, but could never find... so whenever he tried to quote it he'd have to admit he knew neither the author nor the name. It was, as he recalled, "The Athiest's Wail," and it went something like this: "I can stand to write on a bed of pain, and I steel myself, and I don't need God. I can stand at the open grave of a loved one, and steel myself, and I don't need God. But when the autumn leaves are in full color, and the sun is shining brightly, and I'm walking through the woods with my beloved's hand in mine, it's a terrible thing not to have anyone to thank." This lovely hymn reminds us of all the reasons we have to be thankful people.

Generous God, fill us today with awe for all you have made, with gratitude for all you have given us, and with wonder to find you in all that surrounds us. Amen.

Peter Rogness
Retired Bishop, ELCA
Master of Divinity , 1972

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.