The coming of spring has often been associated with the resurrection of Jesus in Easter hymns, some of which we have seen here before. This year, the Second Sunday of Easter also coincides with Earth Day celebrations around the world, which makes this text particularly appropriate.
See, the land, bright Easter keeping,
Rises as our Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heav'n above rejoices;
Fields and gardens hail the spring;
Hills and woodlands ring with voices,
While the wild birds build and sing.
Here, while heav'n and earth rejoices,
We our Easter tribute bring -
Work of fingers, chant of voices,
Like the birds who build and sing.
Charles Kingsley, 19th cent.; alt.
Tune: SUSSEX (126.96.36.199.)
English folk melody;
arr. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906
Charles Kingley (1819-1875) was a priest in the Church of England as well as a novelist, poet, historian, and social reformer.
The final stanza here, calling for an active response to the resurrection, might also be interpreted in our time as a call to action on environmental issues. Another hymn by Kingsley, perhaps the one that best survives to our time, From thee all skill and science flow is also particularly resonant this weekend.
Nine Years Ago: Earth Day
Eight Years Ago: Adin Ballou