In this Thanksgiving week, I am finding inspiration in the words of Fred Pratt Green, text writer of several of Pullen’s beloved hymns, including this one:
For the harvests of the Spirit, thanks be to God;
for the good we all inherit, thanks be to God;
for the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us,
most of all, that love has found us, thanks be to God.
Several aspects of this stanza of “For the Fruit of All Creation” remind me of our Pullen family. First, in the hymn there are multiple harvests of the Spirit – not just one saving moment of spiritual transformation. A theology that understands us and all of creation as being constantly transformed, saved, redeemed reflects my sense of who we are.
I also believe we have an awareness of our inheritance – of what is ours through no effort of our own. Many at Pullen have a very keen appreciation of opportunities that are ours because we are Americans, middle class, educated through school or life, and safe relative to many in our world.
But I especially like the last half of this hymn-poem. The wonder of God’s creation as we experience it in crisp cool weather, falling orange-gold leaves and bright blue skies is a joy. The openness of this community to wrestling honestly with truths that challenge our understandings of God, ourselves, and our place in creation is a gift. The assurance that a love beyond our imagining is holding us and will not let us go is a grace.
So on this Thanksgiving, I am feeling astounded by wonders, confounded by truths, and found by love. I hope you are, too.