e of the hymns that first found its way into our church through the Blue Presbyterian Hymnal in the 1990’s, and which to my pleasure has been retained in the new Glory to God hymnbook, is God of the Sparrow.
God of the sparrow — God of the whale — God of the swirling stars
How does the creature say Awe — How does the creature say Praise
God of the earthquake — God of the storm — God of the trumpet blast
How does the creature cry Woe — How does the creature cry Save
God of the rainbow — God of the cross — God of the empty grave
How does the creature say Grace – How does the creature say Thanks
God of the hungry — God of the sick — God of the prodigal
How does the creature say Care — How does the creature say Life
God of the neighbor — God of the foe — God of the pruning hook
How does the creature say Love — How does the creature say Peace
God of the ages — God near at hand — God of the loving heart
How do your children say Joy — How do your children say Home
This hymn is a treasure trove of biblical images (whale, rainbow, prodigal, cross) and theological words (awe, thanks, love, peace). Every time we sing this hymn, my mind, heart, and soul dance in so many directions.
You may want to stop right now and read the quick story in the Old Testament book of Jonah, or Jesus’ parable of the father and the two sons (Luke 15:11-32) or ….. That’s the path that singing this song sets me on. And then I love where this hymn leaves us and me –
“How do your children say home?”
When I get to the end of these words, I am reminded that God, the wonderful Creator of all, is actually our Heavenly Father. We are God’s children, and wherever we find ourselves in God’s love is home. That is the message of Jonah and of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, and of so much of scripture; that God, our Heavenly Father, loves us as God’s precious children. We find that echoed in the simple language of the Lord’s prayer:
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name…’” (Matthew 6:6-9)
Enjoy being God’s children, and being home where you belong.
God of all creation, thank You for making all that is around, and for making me. Let me find the joy of being home as I stop and think of Your ever-present hand and Your loving heart. Amen.