Featured Hymns- Ponte Sant' Angelo Methodist Church

Featured Hymns

12 July 2020

God, That Madest Earth and Heaven

Text: Reginald Heber 1783-1826 (st 1); Frederick Lucian Hosmer, 1840-1929 (st 2)
Music: Trad. Welsh melody; harm. by Luther Orlando Emerson, 1820-1915
Tune: AR HYD Y NOS, Meter: 84.84.888.4

The first stanza of this week's featured hymn was written by Reginald Heber, an English clergyman and writer. He authored several popular hymns. Other works by him in The United Methodist Hymnal include Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty and Bread of the World. An outstanding student and academician, he won several prizes for his poetry and prose. At age 40 he became Bishop of Calcutta, India, but died after only 3 years. The second stanza was written by Frederick Lucian Hosmer, also a hymn writer and a minister in the Unitarian church. The United Methodist Hymnal contains another hymn by Hosmer, Forward Through the Ages. Together with William Channing Gannet, Hosmer compiled and published several hymnals containing themes of ethics and love.

It is interesting to sing a hymn comprised of works from these two writers. They were not contemporaries and never met. They did not even cross paths. Heber was English, travelled Europe, became Bishop of Calcutta, and died in 1826 at the young age of 42. Hosmer lived in the United States. He was born in Massachusetts in 1840 and lived through the Civil War era to the age of 89. In spite of these differences in time and background, their words join for a powerful message bringing to close the evening, and looking forward with hope in the new morning. As you read the words, ponder the depth of Christian fellowship that we all share with our brothers and sisters in other cultures and traditions around the world.

1. God, that madest earth and heaven,
darkness and light,
who the day for toil hast given,
for rest the night:
may thine angel guards defend us,
slumber sweet thy mercy send us;
holy dreams and hopes attend us,
this livelong night.

2. When the constant sun returning
unseals our eyes,
may we, born anew like morning,
to labor rise.
Gird us for the task that calls us,
let not ease and self enthrall us,
strong through thee whate'er befall us,
O God most wise!

From day to day, year to year, and generation to generation, know that God is with us, watching over us day and night to give us purpose and blessing as we rise to minister and share the love of Christ with every person we meet.

God Bless You!