For beauty of prairies, for grandeur of trees

For beauty of prairies, for grandeur of trees. Walter Farquharson* (1936- ). Written in 1966, this hymn celebrates the prairie landscape and calls for responsible stewardship of the gifts of God’s creation. Stanley Osborne*described it as a prayer: ‘It asks us the question what have we done with the garden God has leased to us? Says the author, ‘We threaten all existence with our blindness.’ In the warnings of ecologists we may even hear the voice of God today, and it is clear that the author is himself concerned about the tragedy of waste. He calls us to fulfil our calling as ‘stewards of beauty.’ American hymnals have substituted ‘meadows’ for the image of the prairies. In VU...

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