If This Is Our Father’s World, Why Won’t We Call It Home?

Maltbie Babcock’s poem "This Is My Father’s World" was written just before the turn of the 20th century and adapted to music in 1915. The music version comprises only three of the original sixteen verses and has become an inter-denominational favorite. Throughout, Babcock sings to nature and nature’s God. He points to nature in its most ordinary: rocks, trees, and birds; the skies, seas, and the morning light. His affirmation of this world is not dimmed by his knowledge of the discordant elements, “the wrong that seems oft so strong,” as he hurries past the blights to his roaring finale:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/06/15/if-our-father%25e2%2580%2599s-world-why-won%25e2%2580%2599t-we-call-it-home

It has been my experience that many of those who seem most anxious to have the pearly gates slam shut as soon as possible, also are asking for prayers for their ‘unsaved’ family members.

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The problem is the various definitions of world. From globe the circles the sun to the environment in which one lives. Jesus tells the visitor that came in the night that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. Here obviously the world meant the human occupants.

We who bear. The Good News should do so with love that redeemered us.

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Visiting the SDA churches in the state where I live, I can provide a different assessment of the status of the Second Coming. Perhaps Hawaii is not part of the West–it sits in the middle of the ocean, between a largely non-Christian but rapidly developing Asia, and the western USA–but here are my perceptions of the most common topics and theme of comments heard in church and Sabbath School.

  • 1 God is good. Blessings and good things are happening. People lose their keys or wallet, then pray and find them. Every little piece of good news is a sign of God’s goodness.

  • 2 Jesus is coming very soon. All the signs are on Youtube and the TV. And in just about every sermon. We especially concerned about earthquakes and tsunamis.

  • 3 Jesus loves everybody. Samoans, hawaiians, haoles and asians. We don’t talk about others like gays or women ministers (we don’t have any) or Buddhists or even other kinds of “Sunday Christians”.

  • 4 Being a vegetarian or vegan is the healthy lifestyle, and we can prove it. Better check your food labels and make sure its not GMO.

  • 5 We need to feed and provide shelter for the homeless. Our church does help out. But real estate prices and cost of living are very high and we don’t have any cash left.

I’m not kidding. This is how it goes.

Thank you! I loved your article. It made me smile and renewed my appreciation for the beautiful song “This Is My Father’s World.”

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“…And though the wrong seem oft so strong, God is the ruler yet”. It is very hard to accept, often times in the light of the sour events in our world. But thank you for reminding us of a purpose to want to keep on going on. Some get lost in the bleak events they get caught up in, and sometimes I do. Yet in spite of it all God shines through in the smile of my grandbaby, in the quite of the rustling grass, in the beauty of blooming flowers and so on and so forth!

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