Loving God, our faithful father, you who created us in your image and likeness, and are willing to meet with us here, as market vendors, barbers, mothers and fathers.
We confess that in our sweat and toil, we often forget your presence. In our struggles and weariness and frustration we are often lukewarm. Forgive us.
Tabernacle with us.
We need you now more than ever. Drained of strength and energy we come, that we might be re-energized and filled.
So come Lord. Come as the wind, blow your breath gently over us, blow the dust off our lives. Come as the fire, burn out all the hate and anger we feel towards those who oppress us and treat us unfairly. Come as the water, wash the dirt of poverty off our stalls, the marketplace, and our lives.
Come as the dove – settle all matters concerning us. Let peace reign.
May we encounter you today. Ignite our hearts to worship and serve you. Take your place and rule and reign in Jesus’s name as we leave our struggle at the foot of the cross and liberate us to worship you. Amen.
complied by Claudio Carvalhaes, professor of worship in New York City
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.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
with many songs and heavenly strings that praise you.
Before I explain the futility of human salvation,
I bow down to worship you.
Before I knock at the doors of the strong,
I bend down to seek you.
Before I start unpacking my worries,
I sing and thank you.
You are the one who brings forth justice to the oppressed, feeds the poor, and releases the prisoners. You freed the oppressed Joseph and Jeremiah from jail. In the lion’s pit, you were with Daniel, and you released Peter from chains. Rhoda shared the good news that the Lord answers the prayers of the godly ones. You freed your people from the chains of oppression, just as the prophets foretold.
You opened the eyes of the blind, and my own eyes have seen the glory of heaven. How many eyes have been bound by moral darkness? But with your light, they can see heavenly glories. You have straightened the bent ones and have relieved our worries. You have searched for the marginalized and taken care of the widows, the orphans, and the strangers.
O Lord, rule over my country, and let the evil of the enemy end!
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord.