Iona Cathedral by Photoglob Zürich, reprinted by Detroit Publishing Co., via Wikimedia Commons
Almighty God, Creator:
the morning is yours, rising into fullness.
The summer is yours, dipping into autumn.
Eternity is yours, dipping into time.
The vibrant grasses, the scent of flowers,
the lichen on the rocks, the tang of seaweed.
All are yours.
Gladly we live in this garden of your creating.
But creation is not enough.
Always in the beauty, the foreshadowing of decay.
The lambs frolicking careless:
so soon to be led off to slaughter.
Nature red and scarred as well as lush and green.
In the garden also:
always the thorn. Creation is not enough.
Almighty God, Redeemer;
the sap of life in our bones and being is yours,
lifting us to ecstasy.
But always in the beauty:
the tang of sin, in our consciences.
The dry lichen of sins long dead, but seared upon our minds.
In the garden that is each of us,
always the thorn.
Yet all are yours as we yield them again to you.
Not only our lives that you have given are yours:
but also our sins that you have taken.
Even in our livid rebellions and putrid sins:
you have taken them all away
and nailed them to the Cross!
Our redemption is enough: and we are free.
Holy Spirit, Enlivener:
breathe on us, fill us with life anew;
In your new creation, already upon us,
breaking through, groaning and travailing,
but already breaking through,
breathe on us.
Till that day when night and autumn vanish
and lambs grown sheep are no more slaughtered:
and even the thorn shall fade
and the whole earth shall cry Glory
at the marriage feast of the Lamb.
In this new creation, already upon us,
fill us with life anew.
George MacLeod, 1895-1991, Church of Scotland, founded the Iona Community
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.