Let Our Earth Be Peaceful

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray

Lyrics as Poetry

Let our earth be peaceful,
let our hearts be hopeful,
let our hands be gentle
for the love of God.Let our ways be mindful,
mending what is hurtful,
doing what is needful
for the love of God.Let our lives be fruitful,
beautiful and playful,
every day be thankful
for the love of God.

Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 2005 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by hymnwriter

Shirley Erena Murray excelled at taking a familiar image, word or expression and turning it around in a way that definitely caught the attention of the reader/singer.

This apparently simple little hymn does that on two counts. The first is in her astute use of the phrase “for the love of God.” The second is that she succeeds in three short verses (with only nine short phrases) to offer an encompassing and yet expansive description of what it means to be a Jesus follower, a true disciple. I believe it spells out in verse Jesus’ own summation of the Law – “Love God. Love your neighbour.” There seems no aspect of Christian Ethics that could not be addressed if we gave serious attention to the nine simple statements. Ron’s tune for this hymn is true to the content. It captures, and respectfully sings, the essence of the words and the straight-forwardness of the call to walk the road of loving discipleship. It could quickly become one of my favourite hymns.

In the English language “For Christ’s sake” and “For the love of God” appear in usage most often as mild, or not so mild, expletives of anger, frustration, disgust, judgement, contempt or disgust. They tend to be dismissive, abusive or threatening. “For the love of God” may be the least abusive of the two phrases as, for example, when a frustrated parent speaks the words to an overly rambunctious child who is being urged to “Go outside and burn off some energy!” But that same phrase has been spoken piously by way of offering excuse for inexcusable behaviour and even as a call to participate in acts of violence against certain people or peoples.

There are many times in the gospel narratives when Jesus is asked what is expected next. Think of the story we often refer to as “the story of the rich young ruler”. Or, consider when the disciples are overwhelmed by the crowds of people who have gathered to hear Jesus teach and Jesus tells them to feed those who have gathered. They ask, “How can we do that? It is impossible.” It is an interesting exercise to take some of the familiar stories and to imagine Jesus responding to questions about “What next?” by quoting the three lines from each of the three verses of this hymn. Imagine that on Pentecost when many ask Peter what they must do to be saved, he quotes the words our hymnwriter has offered us.

The prophet Micah asked, “With what shall I come before the Lord?” The much-quoted answer he provides is, “He has shown you, O human one, for what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” This hymn offers us another version of the same understanding, “for the love of God”. Amen.

An Exercise: Choose one of your favourite stories from the gospels. Read it as it stands. Then reread it inserting the nine lines from Shirley Murray’s hymn. Let your heart(s) be hopeful and your hands gentle. This prayer can set the mood for this exercise – “Let our lives be fruitful, beautiful and playful, every day be thankful for the love of God.”

Audio Sample

Verses 1 & 3
sung by David Moddle and
accompanied by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Psalm 136:1-2
  • Matthew 15:32-37
  • Matthew 19:16-22
  • Matthew 22:34-40
  • John 14:1-7
  • John 15:8-12
  • Galatians 5:22
  • Philippians 4:4-8
  • Colossians 1:10

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Advent∶Themes∶ love
  • Advent∶Themes∶ peace
  • Advent∶ Year 'A'∶ Advent 2
  • Beauty
  • Commissioning
  • Commitment, Dedication
  • Community
  • Creation∶ care of
  • Creation∶ gift of
  • Earth, Earth Day
  • Ecology
  • Environment (care of)
  • God∶ love of
  • Heal, Healing
  • Hope
  • Lent
  • Love∶ God's
  • Love∶ living love
  • Nature
  • Peace
  • Renewal
  • Thanksgiving∶  offering thanks
  • Vision
  • Wholeness
  • World

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