I had gotten three quarters of the way through writing today’s post, all kinds of excited about the joy in discovery, the awe and wonder of science, calling in Malvina Reynolds’ O What a Piece of Work Are We, waxing poetic about religious humanism, thinking about when I could preach this and use this as my doxology. Feast on this bounteous world indeed!
And then I read the lyrics again…
Sing loudly till the stars have heard.
In joy, feast on this bounteous word!
Our praises call us to explore
till suns shall rise and set no more.
Feast on this bounteous WORD.
This anonymously written lyric isn’t so much about science as it is about sacred texts. Perhaps the sacred text at the center of our Protestant forebears, in fact. And not that this still isn’t about our human joy of learning and meaning making – it is. But it’s not the same lyric I started writing about.
This isn’t to say I wouldn’t still use this for a service about the fourth principle, or perhaps on the sacred texts of the third and fourth source. And if I did, I’d use Old Hundredth – of the three tunes, that is in my mind the most praiseful.
Since the rest is clearly about the world, the use of the word “word” puts me in mind of the “two texts” idea: there is the text of scripture and the text of nature. And this hymn says, feast on the bounteous word of nature.