Don't Fear, You Good Earth
FOUNDATION 11.11.11.11 ("How Firm a Foundation")

Don't fear, you good earth; now rejoice! Have you heard?
The Lord has created you by his own word.
Don't fear, all you fields for God sends you the rain.
The farms overflow with the wine, oil and grain.

Don't fear, all you creatures who live in the field;
The pastures are rich and they give their full yield.
You creatures, now sing — for the meadows are green;
Around us, good gifts of creation are seen!

O God, as the prophet proclaimed long ago,
You care for your earth and your gifts overflow.
Though sin leads to things that disrupt and destroy,
You work to redeem and to bring life and joy.

This season, we gather to thank you and say:
O God, you continue to bless us today!
May we who've been blessed by the gifts of your hand
Now care for the water, the air and the land.

Biblical Reference: Joel 2:21-23
Tune: Traditional American melody ("How Firm a Foundation")  (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: carolynshymns@gmail.com     New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com/

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Hymn Note for "Don't Fear, You Good Earth"

"Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the LORD has done great things! ... Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield ..."
    — Joel 2:21-23, Lectionary Reading for Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the goodness of what God has done and to remember our responsibility to care for God's gifts. As we have been blessed, so we are called to bless the earth and to care for it.

"'Do not fear' is the most common command in Scripture. Distinctive of Joel [Thanksgiving Day lectionary reading, Year C] is the divine address to soil (v. 21) and wild animals (v. 22; cf. 1:10). Not only are God's people restored (v. 23) but also nature's potency, indicated in the renewal of the land. Joel's prophetic message, one that conveys both judgment and restoration, bears a distinctly ecological thrust" (footnote on Joel 2:21-22, "The Book of Joel," by William P. Brown in the Discipleship Study Bible, New Revised Standard Version with Apocrypha, edited by Bruce C. Birch, Brian K. Blount, Thomas G. Long, Gail R. O'Day and W. Sibley Towner; Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, p. 1247).

This hymn gives thanks for God's care for creation (verses 1 - 3), acknowledges our sin that damages and destroys it, and is a prayer that we may be good stewards of what God has made.