For the beauty of each hour

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies.

Lord of all to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

For the beauty of each hour,
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
Sun and moon, and stars of light.

Folliat Sandford Pierpoint

We sang this song recently, and I wondered at the truth of that one phrase–the beauty of each hour. Is that poetry or truth? Words or experience?

And even as I turned inward and remembered many dark hours, God whispered yes to me. Yes to beauty in even the blackest night.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild.

Rich with so many to love. And that love in all the hard places to help us move on and move forward. All those gifts of human hearts that are knit with ours. And the richness of gentle thoughts. How I love the way God’s words settle over our frantic and worried thinking to soothe us. Inform and convince us. Calm and quiet us.

For the church, that evermore
Lifteth holy hands above,
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love.

God’s work moving on here and in faraway places. Beautiful feet carrying the gospel of Christ. Our blessed privilege to give and pray and hold the ropes. To be part of the kingdom of God.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
To our race so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.

And God Himself giving Himself. A wonder! That greatest love pouring out on us grace. Grace that changes our course and changes us. A miracle! He works peace in us. Peace with God and peace in this tumultuous world.

The joy of heaven for those who believe. A sustaining hope through all the days, all the hard and all the sad. A new day coming for those who love him back, who surrender their hearts to Him.

Yes. Beauty in each hour.

I have known it, and I see it still.