Kenneth I. Morse (b. Altoona, PA, 1913) wrote this text in 1974 while he was a member of the denominational staff of the Church of the Brethren. Originally beginning "Brothers and sisters of mine are the hungry," the four-stanza text was published in a Church of the Brethren songbook, Sisters and Brothers Sing (1977). The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee chose to use the final stanza as an opening stanza as well, thus creating a frame around the text.
"God of All Living" applies Jesus' words in Matthew 25:34-40 to our modern world, in which wastefulness abounds and the hungry and homeless populate our streets and the media. In this world Christians must minister to various needs in the name of Christ and for his sake. As is true of other hymns in this section, the images depicted here remind us that the starving child, the despairing drug addict, and the destitute homeless are our brothers and sisters; we must "open our hearts" and "reach out Our hands" to them.
Morse graduated from Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and earned a master's degree in English literature from Pennsylvania State University. He taught in public schools until 1943 and then worked on the denominational staff of the Church of the Brethren until his retirement in 1978. The editor of several books and magazines, he also wrote many poems and hymns, as well as a book on worship entitled Move in Our Midst (1977). Morse served on the committee that produced the Hymnal, A Worship Book (1992) of the Brethren and Mennonite churches.
Worship that focuses on our mission task in the world and on those who assist in housing, feeding, counseling, and healing.
Psalter Hymnal editor Emily R. Brink (PHH 158) composed COMPASSION for Morse's text in 1987. The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee on which Brink served had tried various tunes for this text, but due to its unusual accents no successful match was found among preexisting melodies. In composing the tu…
Display Title: God of All LivingFirst Line: God of all living, we make our confessionTune Title: COMPASSION (Brink)Author: Kenneth I. MorseMeter: 11 11 11 11Scripture: Matthew 25:35-40; Matthew 25:40Date: 1987Subject: Poverty | ; Society/Social Concerns |
Display Title: God of All LivingFirst Line: God of all living, we make our confessionTune Title: COMPASSIONAuthor: Kenneth I. Morse, 1913-Meter: 126.96.36.199.Scripture: Isaiah 58:6-7; Matthew 7:9; Matthew 25:34-40Date: 1996Subject: Justice and Peace | ; Laments |