396

For the Fruit of All Creation

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text's theme is thanksgiving: in stanza 1 for the natural harvest and in stanza 3 for the spiritual harvest. That thanksgiving tone, however, functions as a frame around stanza 2, which reminds us that thanksgiving must also be shown in our deeds of sharing God's bounty with those in need. Although the text is a modern one, it expresses the same message as did the Old Testament prophets: offerings of thanksgiving are acceptable to God only if "the orphans and the widows" have received loving care (see Isa. 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8). That message is so necessary at North American harvest feasts!
 
Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

For the source of the harvest, God’s children are called to look to God who with his powerful hand upholds all things, even “...leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink...” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10, Question and Answer 27). As a response for the harvest, God’s people are called to give him thanks.
 
The fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer also expresses this dependence on God as provider (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 50, Question and Answer 125).
396

For the Fruit of All Creation

Introductory/Framing Text

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed for sowing
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity,
which will produce thanksgiving to God through us;
for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints
but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.
In joy, we offer our gifts now to God.
—based on 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

Gracious God,
for your creation and your care for it,
for your Son and our salvation,
for your Spirit and your care for us,
for your abundant, boundless gifts,
we thank you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers. The pattern provides a suggested text
for the opening and closing of each part of the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of
thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Creator God,
we praise you for creating a world filled with beauty and variety.
We thank you for revealing yourself
through the beauty of a flower and the power of a storm.
Today we particularly marvel at the beauty of . . .
for your work in the world, especially . . .
for evidence of your presence in the church and local community . . .
for creating humanity in your image and
for our task as caretakers of this world and all it contains.
Yet we come before you, acknowledging that
we have failed in our task as stewards of this world.
Along with creation we look forward to the new creation.
As we wait, we pray that we may be greater imagebearers of you,
as evidenced in
our care of creation, especially . . .
our work toward peace and reconciliation in our world,
especially . . .
our government and all who lead . . .
the church worldwide and particularly the work of . . .
the ministry of this church as we . . .
in our love and care for persons who have particular needs,
especially . . .
We offer these prayers in the name of our creating God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
who with all creation we worship now and through eternity. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

For the earth and the gift of good land,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the anticipation of a new growing season,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For those who labor on the farm and in the marketplace,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the abundance of food and the opportunities to share,
we give thanks, O Lord.
For the delight of eating and the challenge of self-denial,
we give thanks, O Lord.
O God, our help, we lift up our hearts for the needs of your people:
to those who continue to be burdened with financial problems,
give strength, O Lord.
To those who have lost their land or livelihood,
who have experienced the pain of displacement,
give hope, O Lord.
To those serving people who are troubled and discouraged,
give wisdom, O Lord.
To those who are strong and have prospered,
give humility, O Lord.
To those seeking to be open to your gifts and calling,
give us grace to be patient in suffering
and sensitive to the pain of others.
Help us to be faithful to that which you have committed to us
so that we may realize your kingdom where we are.
Through Jesus Christ, who taught us to pray,
saying, “Our Father . . .”
[Reformed Worship 14:39
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty God,
do take care of all our physical needs
so that we come to know
that you are the only source of everything good
and that neither our work and worry
nor your gifts can do us any good without your blessing.
And so help us to give up our trust in creatures
and trust in you alone.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
—from Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 125
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Almighty God,
thank you for the intricate
life-sustaining world you created.
Make us good caregivers.
Help us share the wealth of resources
that you lavishly share with us.
Thank you for the salvation made possible to us
through the life, death,
and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Following our Lord’s example,
help us love the unloved and serve the lowly.
Thank you for the gifts of your Holy Spirit:
the comfort, the encouragement, and the formation
that we experience as evidence of the Spirit in us.
Grow in us an unquenchable desire for you.
Transform us. Make us new in you.
May we daily grow to be more like you.
In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Caring God,
we thank you for your gifts in creation:
for your world, the heavens that tell of your glory;
for our land, its beauty and resources;
for the rich heritage we enjoy.
We pray for those who make decisions about the resources of the earth,
that we may use your gifts responsibly;
for those who work on land and sea, in city and in industry,
that all may enjoy the fruits of their labors
and marvel at your creation;
for artists, scientists, and visionaries,
that through their work we may see creation afresh.
[Silence]
We thank you for giving us life;
for all who enrich our experience.
We pray for all who through their own or others’ actions
are deprived of fullness of life;
for prisoners, refugees, those differently able, and all who are sick;
for those in politics, medical science,
social and relief work, and for your church;
for all who seek to bring life to others.
[Silence]
We thank you that you have called us to celebrate your creation.
Give us reverence for life in your world.
We thank you for your redeeming love;
may your Word and sacrament
strengthen us to love as you love us.
[Silence]
God, our Creator, bring us new life.
Jesus, Redeemer, renew us.
Holy Spirit, strengthen and guide us. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
396

For the Fruit of All Creation

Tune Information

Name
AR HYD Y NOS
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
8.4.8.4.8.8.8.4

Recordings

396

For the Fruit of All Creation

Hymn Story/Background

Fred Pratt Green wrote the text specifically for the tune EAST ACKLAM with its somewhat unusual meter. Pratt Green carefully matched the "Thanks be to God" phrases to fit the short but powerful cadential motifs in Francis Jackson's tune. The text was first published in the British Methodist Recorder in August 1970. "For the Fruits" has become a popular harvest thanksgiving hymn.
 
The text's theme is thanksgiving: in stanza 1 for the natural harvest and in stanza 3 for the spiritual harvest. That thanksgiving tone, however, functions as a frame around stanza 2, which reminds us that thanksgiving must also be shown in our deeds of sharing God's bounty with those in need. Although the text is a modern one, it expresses the same message as did the Old Testament prophets: offerings of thanksgiving are acceptable to God only if "the orphans and the widows" have received loving care (see Isa. 1:10-17; Amos 5:21-24; Micah 6:6-8). That message is so necessary at North American harvest feasts!
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Already in the 1970s Erik Routley considered Fred Pratt Green (b. Roby, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, 1903; d. October 23, 2000) to be the most important British hymn writer since Charles Wesley, and most commentators regard Green as the leader of the British "hymn explosion." Green was educated at Didsbury Theological College, Manchester, England, and in 1928 began forty years of ministry in the Methodist Church, serving churches mainly in the Yorkshire and London areas. A playwright and poet, he published his works in numerous periodicals, His poetry was also published collectively in three volumes, including The Skating Parson (1963) and The Old Couple (1976). Though he had written a few hymns earlier, Green started writing prolifically after 1966, when he joined a committee to prepare the Methodist hymnal supplement Hymns and Songs (1969) and was asked to submit hymn texts for subjects that were not well represented. His hymn texts, numbering over three hundred, have appeared in most recent hymnals and supplements and have been collected in 26 Hymns (1971), The Hymns and Ballads of Fred Pratt Green (1982), and Later Hymns and Ballads (1989). In 1982 Green was honored as a Fellow of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
— Bert Polman
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