379

Let the Giving of Thanks

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The spirit of this song can come only from those who thankfully receive each day as a gift from God’s hand. Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 44 teaches, “Life is a gift from God’s hand” which we receive thankfully “with reverence for the Creator...” (paragraph 44).
 
The call for God’s help in our daily living arises from those who are confident of his fatherly care; consider reading Belgic Confession, Article 13 and Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9, Question and Answer 26.

Additional Prayers

Just and holy God,
you need nothing from us, but delight in our humble trust and thankful obedience.
We repent of our shallow rituals and empty sacrifices.
Enable us to do justice, love kindness, and humbly walk with you, our God. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
GREYFRIARS
Key
e minor or modal
Meter
6.7.6.7.6.7.6.7

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

This setting is one of 24 psalm settings by John L. Bell published in 1993 by the Iona Community in Scotland and available in North America through GIA Publications.  In the Introduction to that collection, John Bell writes,
 
One of the greatest slurs on the 150 Old Testament poems known collectively and affectionately as The Psalms is to call them “praise songs.” This not only shows a frightening blindness to the content of the poems, it also belittles the experience of Jesus Christ.  When, on the cross, he used the words, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”” was he singing a happy chorus?  .... In this era of history, when the ending of the Cold War and global awareness of international disorders have not ensured that the world is safer or less hungry, or its wealthy inhabitants more fulfilled, it may be that we have to learn to use these ancient words in ways that will ensure our present-day apprehensions and pains are offered to God as earnestly as our most exuberant praise.
 
Bell also mentioned that the Wild Goose Worship Group had collaborated with him in the writing of these very diverse psalm settings, so that the work is communal.
— Emily Brink

Author and Composer Information

The Iona Community is an ecumenical Christian group of men and women based on the small island of Iona off the coast of Scotland. The community began in 1938 when he Rev. George MacLeod of the Church of Scotland began a ministry among the unemployed poor who had been neglected by the church. He took a handful of men to the island to rebuild the ruins of a thousand-year-old abbey church. That rebuilding became a metaphor for the rebuilding of the common life, a return to the belief that daily activity is the stuff of godly service—work, and worship.  The Community has since grown to include a group of members, associates, and friends all over the United Kingdom and many other contries. In addition to many conferences that attract people to Iona from around the world, the Community is known for its publishing of new songs and prayers for worship, both developed in community and gathered from around the world. For more information on the Iona Community, check their website: www.iona.org.uk. John Bell is probably the community’s most well-known member, having composed and arranged much of the community’s music.