4 Apr

Are you familiar with the musical GODSPELL?

This musical from the early 1970s tells the story of Jesus collecting his disciples, teaching them to form a covenant group instead of being the motley crew they were when first recruited by Jesus. One of the pieces of music in the show is ALL GOOD GIFTS. The lyrics are captured below in part.

We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land..

But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand.

He sends us snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain…

The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain...

CHORUS: All good gifts around us

Are sent from Heaven above

Then thank the Lord, thank the Lord for all his love…

We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,

The seed time and the harvest, our life our health our food,

No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts

But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!

Believe it or not, original lyrics of this piece were first penned by poet Matthias Claudius who wrote the words in the 1770s — his later years as he had become ill. In his twenties, he had abandoned Christianity, but had returned in later years and his beliefs were a sustaining force in his life and an inspiration for much poetry he was writing during his illness. ALL GOOD GIFTS as listed above was a favorite among his closest friends with whom he shared his words.

The tender message is a reminder that what we have in life is not really ours. God gives the gifts and desires that we become good protectors and stewards of everything we have.

It’s easy to pat ourselves on the back for all we have. Sadly doing that alone is missing the mark. We can be proud of our hard work and achievements, but it is best when we realize our lives are deeply enriched by ALL of God’s GOOD GIFTS.

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