876

God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending

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Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

When we sing about the offering of our gifts, we quickly find several thoughts interwoven with each other. The first is the foundational thought that God’s generosity in Christ has brought us salvation and all good things in life. God has “created heaven and earth and all other creatures from nothing” (Belgic Confession, Article 12) and he continues to “provide whatever I need in body and soul” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26). But God’s greatest act of generosity is shown in the gift of his Son “by a most perfect love” (Belgic Confession, Article 20) through whom we find the forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. This generosity of God is always in the background of each song in this section.

 

God’s children are called to respond thankfully to God’s generosity. Our gifts, therefore, take on the nature of a testimony of thankfulness to our generous God. We aim that “with our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86). Indeed, all our living, including our gifts, are intended to show “how I am to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). It is natural, therefore, that our giving of offerings is accompanied with songs that express this gratitude.

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God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending

Blessing/Benediction

May the God who makes everything holy and whole,
make you holy and whole, put you together—
spirit, soul, and body—
and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
The one who called you is completely dependable.
If he said it, he will do it! Amen.
—from 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, TM
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Go from this place united in heart and thought,
strong to serve the Lord of the church,
ready to face and battle the foes of the Lord,
ready to find and join the friends of the Lord,
always vigilant, always faithful.
And may the blessing of God—
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—
come upon you and stay with you always. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Thanksgiving
 
God of grace and God of glory, we lift our hearts to you, whose giving knows no ending. You offer riches we can no more measure than deserve. Sun and stars are yours to give. Heaven and earth are yours. Incarnation, life, teaching, cross, grave, ascension are yours. Pentecost, church, and sacraments are yours. The new heaven and earth are yours to give. God of grace and God of glory, we lift our hearts to you, whose giving knows no ending, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Lord of life, you promise abundant life to all who live together in Christ.
We offer these gifts as a sign of our desire to share
our resources for the common good and building of your kingdom.
We humbly ask that you use them to strengthen our unity
and deepen our witness and healing presence in this needy world. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of life,
we pray that our unity will be seen not only in what we believe
but also in how we work together to be salt and light in this world.
May our gifts today be a sign for each other and the world,
that we pledge to work together in your name
for the healing of this broken and hurting world.
Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
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God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending

Tune Information

Name
BEACH SPRING
Key
F Major
Meter
8.7.8.7 D

Recordings

876

God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending

Hymn Story/Background

This text was written in response to a request for new hymns on stewardship by the Department of Stewardship and Benevolence of the National Council of Churches in the US, which was preparing to celebrate its fortieth anniversary. The Hymn Society of America also cooperated with this request, and from the 450 submissions, this text was one of ten selected and published by the Hymn Society in Ten New Stewardship Hymns (1961).  Perhaps Robert Edwards was encouraged to work on a hymn, since his father, Dean Edwards, was president of the Hymn Society.  
— Emily Brink

BEACH SPRING was first published in The Sacred Harp (1844) as a setting for Joseph Hart's "Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched."
 
Benjamin F. White  was listed as the composer. The tune is named after the Beach Spring Baptist Church in Harris County, Georgia, where White lived. BEACH SPRING is a strong, pentatonic tune cast into a rounded bar form (AABA). 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Robert Lansing Edwards (1915-2006) was a distinguished New England pastor, writer, and civic leader. Born in New York, a direct descendant of Thomas Hooker and Jonathan Edwards as well as a nephew of John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under President Eisenhower, he received degrees from Princeton University (1937); Harvard University (history, 1938); Union Seminary (MDiv, 1949).  After serving as an Army intelligence officer during World War II, he held pastorates at First Congregational Church in Litchfield, Connecticut (1949-1956) and from 1956 until 1980 at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford. He also served in leadership roles on many boards as far ranging as the Connecticut Prison Association and as trustee for Hartford Seminary.  He wrote several hymns, a biography of Horace Bushnell, who preceded him as pastor in Hartford, and his own autobiography.  
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Benjamin F. White (b. Spartanburg, SC, 1800; d. Atlanta, GA, 1879), coeditor of The Sacred Harp (1844), was listed as the composer. He came from a family of fourteen children and was largely self-taught. Eventually White became a popular singing-school teacher and editor of the weekly Harris County newspaper.
— Bert Polman
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