The beauty of the earth

Earth from Space

In a world full of so much suffering, it is easy to lose sight of the beauty all around us in this world we live in. Yes, there is the ugliness of poverty and injustice, but there is so much beauty to be thankful for as well.

Last week, Christine and I went to Yorkshire and visited the beautiful village of West Burton where I had lived, but only as a baby. My parents had moved north to a safe place, far away from the bombs and noise of the second world war, and I had been born there. Travelling in the Yorkshire Dales, the beauty of the hills and the valleys in between took our breath away.

The goodness of God is evident in his beautiful creation. He made a world for us, full of wonder and delight. As he created, he ‘saw that it was good’ and we too can appreciate that goodness and thank him from the depths of our being.

In the choir Christine and I belong to, we sing a song, rearranged by John Rutter which perfectly epitomises the beauty of God’s creation and our response.

For the beauty of the earth,
For the beauty of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
(over and around us lies):
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light
(sun and moon and stars of light):
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth, and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild,
(for all gentle thoughts and mild):
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise.

For each perfect gift of thine
To our race so freely given,
Graces human and divine,
Flowers of earth and buds of heaven
(flowers of earth and buds of heaven):
Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise,
our hymn of praise

To our race so freely given

Singing and music are two of God’s greatest gifts to us. As I sing the lines, “For each perfect gift of thine, to our race so freely given“, my emotions are stirred and I can hardly sing those words. The fact is that God has poured out so many good things on all men, whether they acknowledge him or not.

  • Scenery
  • Biological diversity
  • Singing
  • Music
  • Colour
  • Language
  • Shapes and forms
  • Human love
  • God’s love and forgiveness
  • The immensity of the universe
  • The smallness of the sub-atomic
  • Intelligence
  • Strength
  • Emotions
  • The list goes on and on…..

Liberation from bondage to decay

Our view of the world can be influenced by incorrect theology. If we believe the world will be destroyed, then we will not appreciate its beauty and not look after it. But we can look forward to a new, or renewed earth that is not subject to the decay we see all around us.

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope…

…that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
(Romans 8:19-21)

God has a plan. He seeks to restore mankind to a right relationship to himself, our creator. It is our responsibility to be good stewards, look after our world and cooperate with him as he also seeks to restore the whole of creation, including this world to what it was meant to be. Liberation from bondage of decay is the promise, and we can be a part of this process!


Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

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