Saturday, October 5, 2019


The other day my kids were listening to a YouTube playlist and in an otherwise normal list of kids' songs I kept hearing the lyrics "we've got the whole world in our hands." My son is quick to point out where something deviates from the Bible stories he's been told, and said "It's not WE, it's GOD." (he gets confused about the concept of Mother Nature, too)

I didn't really want to criticize the song, but here my son had pointed it out, so it was discussion time.

Song background: Although we may sing it traditionally as a children's song, the original song was an African-American spiritual. Interestingly enough, it was my (Russian) husband who introduced me to Mahalia Jackson, whose recording of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" is one of the more popular ones.

When I stopped to think about it, I realized that the altered lyrics likely had a connection to environmentalism. So I talked about that a little bit. It doesn't contradict the biblical idea of Creation, merely reminds us that the earth is God's precious creation, for us to protect as we can.

P.S. When I finally went ahead and looked it up, I found that a children's book came out a few years ago to this effect. You can look up "We've Got the Whole World in our Hands" by Rafael Lopez.

Since everyone was talking about Greta Thunberg and the Climate Summit last week (2 weeks ago?), it has been on my mind.

When I take a minute to contemplate, I don't think I'm really comfortable with putting ourselves in place of God. It's because the earth is the Lord's that we should care about it at all, not because it is completely "in our hands." I want so much to be a good steward and also reflect Christ in the way I care about the environment. However, an alarmist approach really turns me off and I don't want to live in fear. I'm glad there are activists and I'd be fine with making some changes to reduce consumption. I haven't actually talked to my kids much about this topic, but I'm sure it will come up!


  1. WE'VE got the whole world in our hands! Oh, my gosh. That's awful. I wouldn't mind the altered lyrics, making an environmental point, if they hadn't been CHANGED; it is that which is troubling, I think.

    1. I don't think it's right to change religious lyrics to secular and vice-versa. Singing pop songs in church is a no-no, too! As is getting kids all confused!


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