Creating God

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1 Creating God, your fingers trace
the bold designs of farthest space.
Let sun and moon and stars and light
and what lies hidden praise your might.

2 Sustaining God, your hands uphold
earth's mysteries known or yet untold.
Let water's fragile blend with air,
enabling life, proclaim your care.

3 Redeeming God, your arms embrace
all those oppressed for creed or race.
Let peace, descending like a dove,
make known on earth your healing love.

4 Indwelling God, your gospel claims
one family with a billion names.
Let every life be touched by grace
until we praise you face to face.

Author: Jeffery W. Rowthorn

Jeffery W. Rowthorn (b. Newport, Gwent, Wales, 1934) wrote this text in 1978 while he was Chapel Minister at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut. The text was first published in Laudamus (1980), a hymnal supplement edited by Rowthorn and used at the Yale Divinity School. Rowthorn graduated from Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Union Theological Seminary in New York, and Cuddeson Theological College in Oxford. Ordained in 1963 in the Church of England, he served several congregations in England before immigrating to the United States, where he was chaplain at Union Theological Seminary and a faculty member in liturgics at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, which he helped to establish. He was then elected Suffragan Bishop of t… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Ps. 147:4-5, Col. 1:16
st. 2 = Ps. 147:8

Jeffery W. Rowthorn (PHH 523) wrote this text based on Psalm 148 in 1974, the year he first started writing hymn texts. One of two winners in the Hymn Society of America's contest for "New Psalms for Today," the text was published in The Hymn of April 1979.

In Psalm 148 both heavenly and earthly creatures bring praise to God (see additional comments at PHH 148). Rowthorn uses the psalm as the backdrop for a text that is not so much a paraphrase in the traditional sense of that term but a new text that affirms four great tenets of the Christian faith: the God we worship created the entire cosmos (st. 1), sustains the ecology of life (st. 2), redeems his people from oppression and death (st. 3), and dwells by his Spirit in his people, the church (st. 4).

Liturgical Use:
The beginning of each stanza contains the themes of this text: creation, providence, redemption, and incarnation; in the light of these, the hymn has many possible uses in Christian worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



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Worship and Rejoice #32
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