Saturday, 31 January 2009

Artful is God, creation is his canvas

A hymn by Kim Fabricius

(Tune: Som Stranden)

Artful is God, creation is his canvas
on which he paints his cosmic masterpiece:
brushstrokes both broad and delicate in detail,
colours and shapes composed in perfect peace.

Artful is God, creation is his canvas
on which he paints his cosmic masterpiece.

Zillions of stars, exploding out of nothing,
dance for the Lord, delightful in his eye;
billions of years it takes for sketching planets,
time to design an earth to occupy.

Dazzling the sun, and silver-soft the moonlight,
fruitful the land, and fathomless the sea;
wondrous is life, from single cell to primate,
awesome is death, the final mystery.

What then of man, the end of evolution,
image divine defaced by sin and vice?
Artful is God, producing from his palette
Adam restored: self-portrait Jesus Christ!


Bob MacDonald said...

Thanks for this - a great improvement on God of concrete, God of steel.

I sense an introduction to a poet. And when I read a few of the propositional posts, I sensed the poetry still. How encouraging!

steve martin said...

A beautiful way to look at God and his masterpiece...'Himself'.

Stephen C. Rose said...

Post-Christian Gloss

Artful are you creation is your canvas
On which you paint a world that yet shall be
Strokes strong and bold a pattern we might follow
Open our eyes enable us to see

Artful You are creation is your canvas
On which you paint a world that yet shall be

Galaxies infinite who can set their compass
We cannot probe the deepest mystery
Still we can see through all the fog of living
Patterns of peace and justice yet to be

Artful You are creation is your canvas
On which you paint a world that yet shall be

John Hartley said...

Dear Kim,

Thanks for this - I enjoyed reading it. I don't seem to be able to find the tune "Som Sanden" on the internet or in my hymn books - please could you give me a clue about where I might find it? In the mean time I sung it to "Finlandia", which perhaps isn't quite right for it?

From a theological point of view, my only hangup with the hymn is that God creates the canvas as well as the painting on it. I don't see how to solve this conundrum, because if you'd said God was a sculptor then I'd have observed that he created the marble as well as shaping the image which he wanted to bring out of it ... and if you'd said he was a composer I'd have wanted to say he created as well as exploited the physics of sound waves. I guess we nit-pickers will never be satisfied.

Well done especially for getting the self-portrait in. Very Sheldon Vanaukenian, if I may say so!

Yours in Christ - JOHN HARTLEY.

kim fabricius said...

Hi John,

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Nitpicking myself, I could refer to one or two other potential theological problems, but the image of forest and trees comes to mind ...

You will find the tune "Som Stranden" (by Lars Ake Lundburg) - which I think is beautiful, and was exclusively in mind as I wrote the hymn - in the URC hymnbook Rejoice and Sing. It is the set tune for "The love of God is broad like beach and meadow", by Anders Frostenson (tr. Fred Kaan).

John Hartley said...

Dear Kim,

> ... the tune "Som Stranden" ...
> which was exclusively in mind as > I wrote the hymn ...

Thanks for the directions, and I will take the hint and not try to write you any alternative tune for your hymn!

Yours in Christ - JOHN HARTLEY.

roger flyer said...

Hi Kim-

I like that you limit yourself to the libretto. Are you just being modest?

My son R.O. gave me your book, Walking the Plank, for Christmas, and I bought one for him and my son-in-law...

As a contemporary Christian 'praise song' writer, I welcome theological critiques of my theology
(though no melodic critiques, please)

Kindly go to-
and click on the upper right player-

Kingdom of God is Within


We Will Trust


Your input on my 'ortho-doxy' would be appreciated.

I spoke with Vineyard South African theologian Derek Morphew over coffee about the 'Kingdom of God is Within' expression...He said: 'It's not right technically, but how do you experience the kingdom of God all around you if it is not within you...?'

I love your Welsh nee NY perspective. I am Minnesota with 3rd generation Welsh roots. You should have seen my curly hair when I was young, and you should hear the voices of my children!

roger flyer said...

Just re-reading my previous comment (posted late at night) I bought two of your books for Christmas presents. One for my son and one for my son-in-law.

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