|First Line:||As men of old their first fruits brought|
|Title:||As Men of Old Their First Fruits Brought|
|Author:||Frank von Christierson (1960)|
|Copyright:||© 1961, ren.1989 The Hymn Society (admin. Hope Publishing Company)|
st. 1 = Duet. 26:1-15
st. 2 = 1 John 3:18, James 1:22
Frank von Christierson (b. Lovisa, near Helsinki, Finland, 1900) stated the following about this hymn:
As pastor of two new churches, with small memberships and great financial needs, I have been deeply concerned with stewardship, also because I am deeply concerned about missions and the outreach of the church to "all the world," [and] also because stewardship is a very important phase of the Christian life. No one is deeply Christian until he is a "good steward."
This hymn text (more explicitly than 296) puts our human stewardship of money and other prized resources (st. 1) into the larger context of the worldwide mission of the church, in view of the coming of Christ's kingdom (st. 2). We must always integrate our giving of gifts with our giving of ourselves for Christian service (st. 3).
Christierson wrote the text in 1960 and submitted it to a hymn search conducted jointly by the Department of Stewardship & Benevolence of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and the Hymn Society of America (HSA). It was accepted and was first published in the HSA booklet Ten New Stewardship Hymns (1961). Altered (especially in st. 2) for publication in the Psalter Hymnal, the song originally began with the words "As men of old. . ."
Christierson's family immigrated to the United States in 1905. He received his education at Stanford University and San Francisco Theological Seminary and was ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1929. A moderator of regional presbyteries, he served several Presbyterian churches in California and was founding pastor of the Trinity Community Presbyterian Church in North Hollywood (1944-1961). He wrote some 140 hymns, a number of which have been published by the Hymn Society of America as well as in his Make a Joyful Noise (1987). In 1982 Christierson was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
As an offertory hymn; stewardship themes; emphasis on missions.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987