Here We Bring, Small or Great

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: HASTINGS

Lyrics as Poetry

Here we bring, small or great,
gifts to offer on this plate,
what we’ve earned, what we own,
tithe or token, bread or stone,

Jesus said, “Have a care —
your heart will always be
where your riches are,
where your riches are.

Food and drink, things obsess,
drug us to false happiness;
what we keep, what we give,
tells the truth of how we live.

Jesus said, “Have a care —
your heart will always be
where your riches are,
where your riches are.

Moth and rust breed decay,
thieves break in and steal away;
love and trust need no hoard,
richest treasure can’t be stored,

Jesus said, “Have a care —
your heart will always be
where your riches are,
where your riches are.

Wild flowers grow, birds find seed,
God attends to each one’s need;
as we share, all can live,
as we love, we learn to give,

Jesus said, “Have a care —
your heart will always be
where your riches are,
where your riches are.


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1992 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
SHIRLEY ERENA MURRAY
from her book
“In Every Corner Sing” (#40):

“There seem to be very few hymns on money, though the Gospel is full of it! I felt that our congregation might respond to singing something cheerful and positive while the offering was being taken up to the table, so I worked on this impulse, using Matthew 6:19-21 as basis.”


In Every Corner Sing
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA


A Reflection by hymnwriter
WALTER FARQUHARSON

As her explanation (above) of why she created this hymn, Shirley Erena Murray wrote: “There seem to be very few hymns on money, though the Gospel is full of it! I felt that our congregation might respond to singing something cheerful and positive while the offering was being taken up to the table, so I worked on this impulse, using Matthew 6:19-21 as basis.”

As we read or sing this hymn we’d probably agree that it was a good impulse. It’s tempting as a hymn writer or church musician to wonder, “But who’s going to be around to sing it?” When that thought comes to mind for me, I remember my mother’s very pointed words about preaching, “If I am ever in a congregation, and you’re preaching, and you start complaining about the people who aren’t there, I’m getting up and walking out!” So, for those who are still there, and those who are there but don’t sing hymns, there is in this hymn an essential affirmation. Wealth is dangerous. (I can hear some of you say, “I could use a little danger right now!”). Wealth can be dangerous but our resources, like our talents, can be put to good use creating well-being and health, building towards a more compassionate and just society, celebrating and expressing beauty, joy and creativity. It really is a matter of where our hearts find home.

A few months ago some friends were in conversation about things they remembered about church and Sunday School. Most, currently, were not involved in a faith community. “You know,” said one, “what I remember most clearly is that whenever we were leaving for church or Sunday School, my parents’ last word was “Have you got your collection?” Everyone laughed. That had not been a unique experience.

The “offering” during the church service had been (and for many still is) the presentation of the bread and wine for communion. Other gifts of the people, tithes and commitments were made at the same time – part of the gospel taking flesh through the service of the church to the world and its peoples. Collections for specific needs within the neighborhood had often been an extra opportunity to, for example, contribute to repair a roof or fund an orphanage. As some branches of the church moved away from weekly services that regularly included the gathering at the Lord’s table, the sense of offering gave over to having a collection – which could easily be the equivalent of passing the hat to cover expenses.

Several decades ago, Joan and I had opportunity to join in worship with members of a base Christian community in Cuernavaca, Mexico. We were struck by the way in which the service ended. Many of the participants would have had no cash to offer for a traditional offering or collection. What they had was their willingness to contribute what they could for the well-being of their congregation and community. Each, whatever their age or circumstance had offering to make.

“I will stand in line each day to get water for my neighbor Senora D. who cannot walk that far or wait that long.” “I will write letters to our friend J. who is in prison.” “I will look after M.’s younger children when she carries nine year-old P. to the clinic.” (The clinic was 12 kms away, her son had MS.). Each had something that was their specific offering for the week. The group prayed that each would be given strength to keep their commitment and that their gift would carry God’s love to each recipient.


An ActivityIn the spirit of that small congregation in Cuernavaca, prepare a pledge card of your own, as an offering. Hopefully you will name something that is not on your regular list of things you do or gifts you offer, but an extension – perhaps into an area you are less comfortable entering.

                                                    Audio Sample for   "Here We Bring,   Small or Great"

One verse & final refrain
played on piano

Scripture References

  • Micah 6:6-8
  • Matthew 6:1-4
  • Matthew 6:19-21
  • Matthew 6:24-34
  • Matthew 7:12
  • Matthew 10:7-10
  • Matthew 19:16-26
  • Matthew 25:31-40
  • Luke 12:50
  • Luke 16:19-31
  • Luke 18:24-27
  • John 6:1-14

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Care, Caring
  • Gifts & Talents
  • Giving
  • Money
  • Offering, Offertory
  • Stewardship

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