Calvin Seerveld (b. 1930) was professor of aesthetics at the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto from 1972 until he retired in 1995. Educated at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the University of Michigan; and the Free University of Amsterdam (Ph.D.), he also studied at Basel University in Switzerland, the University of Rome, and the University of Heidelberg. Seerveld began his career by teaching at Bellhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi (1958-1959), and at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois (1959-1972). A fine Christian scholar, fluent in various biblical and modern languages, he is published widely in aesthetics, biblical studies, and philosophy. His books include Take Hold of God and Pull (1966), The Gr… Go to person page >
st. 1 = Eccles. 3: 13-14
st. 2 = Eccles. 7: 14
st. 3 = Eccles. 3:15
"God's Gift It Is" voices one of the central themes of the book of Ecclesiastes–life centered on God is not "vanity" but brings joy and has meaning. In all circumstances, God is in control and guides our lives (see Answer 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism: "I . . . belong . . . in life and in death–to my faithful Savior. . ."). The song's refrain picks up on this theme. In the biblical text this theme occurs in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26; 3:12-13; 5:18-20; 7:14; 8:15.
Calvin Seerveld (PHH 22) paraphrased Ecclesiastes 3:13-15 and 7:14 in 1985 for the Psalter Hymnal–and specifically for the tune MACHS MIT MIR. Except for the wisdom psalms, this is one of the few wisdom texts in the
Because this song focuses on God's providence, it will find frequent use in Christian worship–for example, springtime prayer for crops and industry, fall harvest thanksgiving, Sunday near Labor Day, commemoration of events at the end of the year or season, times of prosperity and times of adversity.
MACHS MIT MIR was first published in the collection of music Das ander Theil des andern newen Operis Geistlicher Deutscher Lieder (1605) by Bartholomäus Gesius (b. Münchenberg, near Frankfurt, Germany, c. 1555; d. Frankfurt, 1613). A prolific composer, Gesius wrote almost exclusively for the churc…
Display Title: God's Gift It Is to Eat and DrinkFirst Line: God's gift it is to eat and drinkTune Title: MACHS MIT MIRAuthor: Calvin SeerveldMeter: 87 87 88Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:13-15; Ecclesiastes 7; Ecclesiastes 3:15; Ecclesiastes 7:14Date: 1987Subject: Comfort & Encouragement | ; Sickness & Health | ; Providence | ; Wisdom |