O God of Growth and Greening

For today’s readings, to the tune THAXTED:

Thus says the Lord GOD:

I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar,

    from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot,

and plant it on a high and lofty mountain;

    on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.

It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,

    and become a majestic cedar.

Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,

    every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.

And all the trees of the field shall know

    that I, the LORD,

bring low the high tree,

    lift high the lowly tree,

wither up the green tree,

    and make the withered tree bloom.

As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

Ezekiel 17:22-24
O God of growth and greening,
awake in every spring,
new leaves cry out your meaning:
new life in everything!
But winter's withered weeping
your glory also sings:
the stormwinds in their keening,
the tears that nightfall brings,
they tell of love's redeeming,
embracing mortal stings,
who rose from death's own keeping
at dawn's awakening!

So withered trees shall blossom,
and budding branches break,
and summer sink to autumn,
and dusk to night shall fade.
The rising of the dawn sun 
shall vanquish gloom and shade;
the vine shall wind its burden
around the barren stake;
and Christ, the crowned and cross-hung,
shall all dominion take:
the living fall to bless him,
and every sleeper wake!

Mature trees in w:Cedar Rapids, Iowa severely damaged by the w:August 2020 Midwest derecho. By David Amelotti – National Weather Service (Quad Cities Office) – https://www.weather.gov/dvn/summary_081020, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93582353

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