What is the worst hymn ever written? Of course, I’m ruling out any hymns that never made it into a popular hymnal in the first place.

For me, the clear winner is hymn #20 from the 1975 version of the Baptist Hymnal written by Thad Roberts, Jr. The title is “God Of Earth And Outer Space.” Of course, we are commanded in scripture to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. Mr. Roberts took it a step further, asking blessings on those select few who actually travel off the planet once in a while.

I’m all for prayers of blessings on astronauts. It’s the line asking God to “fling the spacecraft” that gets me laughing.

The full cheese factor won’t completely kick in until you’ve heard the creepy minor key setting. Right click HERE and choose “open in a new window/tab.” That way, you can sing the lyrics below while you listen.

Because this is a MIDI file, the camp factor goes sailing past 10 to 11. (Dig that rallentando at the end!)

God of earth and outer space,
God of love and God of grace,
Bless the astronauts who fly,
As they soar beyond the sky.
God who flung the stars in space,
God who set the sun ablaze,
Fling the spacecraft thro the air,
Let man know your presence there.

God of atmosphere and air,
God of life and planets bare,
Use man’s courage and his skill
As he seeks your holy will.
God of depth and God of height,
God of darkness, God of light,
As man walks in outer space,
Teach him how to walk in grace.

God of man’s exploring mind,
God of wisdom, God of time,
Launch us from complacency
To a world in need of thee.
God of power, God of might,
God of rockets firing bright.
Hearts ignite and thrust within,
Love for Christ to share with men.

God of earth and outer space,
God who guides the human race,
Guide the lives of seeking youth
In their search for heavn’ly truth.
God who reigns below, above,
God of universal love,
Love that gave Nativity,
Love that gave us Calvary.

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Category Audio, Sad But True

David Bruce Murray

David Bruce Murray is a church music director in Ellenboro, NC. He is the author of Murray's Encyclopedia Of Southern Gospel Music and the owner of both SGHistory.com and MusicScribe.com. David plays piano for Southern Sounds Quartet and the Foothills Community Choir.

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  1. Reply August 20, 06:07 #1 GospelMusiFan

    Yes, I agree some of the lines are a little far out.
    I take consolation in the fact that 25 out of 32 lines have excellent spiritual truths.
    I never wanted to be a space traveler.
    I would think a space traveler would being singing the song all the way to the moon!

    Thanks for highlighting the song.

  2. Reply August 20, 08:15 #2 Naomi

    Never heard this one. Hilarious and awful at the same time!

  3. Reply August 20, 09:04 #3 Adam Edwards

    Sounds like music from those old RPG’s on the NES!

  4. Reply August 20, 09:40 #4 quartet-man

    If someone had told me this song existed I wouldn’t have believed it.

  5. Reply August 20, 12:49 #5 Janet B

    Ok, am I the only one who thinks the tune sounds familiar? An old madrigal tune maybe? An old English hymn? I can’t remember the lyrics, but I think I’ve sung this tune at some point in my life. See – now that’s going to bug me all day. Thanks, David.
    As far as this lyric goes – Mr. Roberts was all about the imagery, wasn’t he? “Launch us from complacency…hearts ignite and thrust within…” Too, too funny.

  6. Reply August 20, 14:30 #6 David Bruce Murray

    The tune is credited to Joseph Parry, written in 1879. In the Baptist Hymnal (1975), the tune name is listed as ABERYSTWYTH. I have no idea how you’d go about attempting to pronounce such a word!

  7. Reply August 20, 14:32 #7 David Bruce Murray

    OK…I just did a Google search and found that this tune has also been used for “Jesus, Lover Of My Soul.” Also, Aberystwyth is the name of a town in Wales.

  8. Reply August 20, 17:11 #8 quartet-man

    I haven’t listened to the tune itself yet, I didn’t have time. I am about to now. :)

  9. Reply August 20, 17:15 #9 quartet-man

    They could have at least put a Picardy third at the end. :)

    • Reply August 20, 17:47 admin

      That would have made it sound entirely too happy. :o)

  10. Reply October 06, 14:46 #10 scottysearan

    To me the Hymn is not so hilarious.

    Take a look at Dottie Rambo’s song “There’s Nothing My God Can’t Do.”

    He measured the sea in the palm of His hand
    The mountains were placed at His command
    And at the sound of His voice the sun came through
    There’s nothing, no nothing
    That my God can’t do.

    There’s nothing, no nothing
    There’s nothing that my God can’t do
    Miracles and wonders
    There’s nothing, no nothing
    That my God can’t do.

    He named every star and He hung them on high
    The moon spread its light across God’s great sky
    And that same mighty God can take a heart of stone
    Wash it and cleanse it
    And make it His own.

    There are many things in this song that could sound Hilarious, such as the opening lines of both verses.

    How about the “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands?”

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