Shall I collect together all the words that praise your holy Name?
Shall I give you all the names of this world —you, the Unnameable?
Shall I call you “God of my life, meaning of my existence, hallowing of my acts, my journey’s end, bitterness of my bitter hours, home of my loneliness, you my most treasured happiness”?
Shall I say: “Creator, Sustainer, Pardoner, Near One, Distant One, Incomprehensible One, God both of flowers and stars, God of the gentle wind and of terrible battles, Wisdom, Power, Loyalty, and Truthfulness, Eternity and Infinity, you the All-merciful, you the Just One, you – Love itself?”
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.
God of the high and holy places where I catch a glimpse of your glory, above the low levels of life, above the evil and emptiness which drags me down, beyond the limits of my senses and imagination, you lift me up.
In the splendour of a sunset, in the silence of the stars, in the grandeur of the mountains, in the vastness of the sea, you lift me up.
In the majesty of music, in the mystery of art, in the freshness of morning, in the fragrance of a single flower, you lift me up.
Awe-inspiring God, when I am lost in wonder and lost for words, receive the homage of my silent worship but do not let me be content to bear your beauty and be still. Go with me to the places where I live and work. Lift the veil of reticence behind which I hide. Give me the courage to speak of the things which move me, with simple and unselfconscious delight. Help me to share my glimpses of glory until others are drawn to your light.
Rev. Jean Mortimer, Minister in the United Reformed Church, UK
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!”
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
Work is anchored in your character, and part of being made is your image is sharing the industrious and creative aspects of your nature. You are a God of excellence and commitment, and I long to exhibit those same qualities, especially at work. Some days my job is great, and other days I feel unmotivated or stressed. But I know that whatever task I am called upon to do, I have an opportunity to demonstrate a divine standard of excellence and commitment, both to my assignments and to those around me.
Lord, please teach me to work diligently and with enthusiasm at whatever I do, whether I’m on the job or at home with my family. When I think of my daily tasks as having been assigned by you, I find myself working for your approval, and I am often proud of the work I do. But more important, God, I want you to be proud of me. I’m so thankful that I have an opportunity to show creativity and responsibility in each task of my day. Please help my efforts be an inspiration for others to glorify you in all they do each day.
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.