We Give Thee but Thine Own (ELW 686)
1 We give thee but thine own,
whate’er the gift may be;
all that we have is thine alone,
a trust, O Lord, from thee.
2 May we thy bounties thus
as stewards true receive,
and gladly, as thou blessest us,
to thee our first-fruits give.
3 The captive to release,
to God the lost to bring,
to teach the way of life and peace –
it is a Christ-like thing.
4 And we believe thy word,
though dim our faith may be:
whate’er we do for thine, O Lord,
we do it unto thee.
Martin Luther wrote in his explanation to the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed, “God has given me and still preserves…all that exists…out of pure, fatherly, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness of mine at all!” Our readings for this week have reminded us that “every perfect gift comes from God” with the purpose that we become first fruits who act in care for all God’s creation. (James 1:17-27) This familiar hymn, often sung as an offertory in worship, echoes those sentiments. It reminds us that we are trustees of creation, and that to respond to God’s gifts as faithful stewards is a mark of true wisdom and of hearts that by God’s grace have been transformed to use whatever gifts we have been given to care for all creation.
Gracious God, we give thanks for your extravagant gifts that surround us in your wondrous creation, and for the wisdom and the courage to use those gifts wisely in the love and care of that creation. Amen.