|Inspired by The Confessions of St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo|
|Oh Lord, you are life itself. You are the air we breathe, and the love in our hearts. What do we know of love? Holy God, you are the author of love. O Lord, only you are good. You alone are holy. You died and rose again to give us life – to make us new. With our inmost being, we praise your holy name. (Ps 103:1) Our souls find rest in you. (Psalm 62:1) We worship you, our risen Christ. We humbly bow in gratitude at your feet of Grace. |
You sustain us for your pleasure. We draw near to you, O God, with full assurance of faith knowing you have sprinkled our hearts and cleansed us from guilt. (Heb. 10:22) Your love astounds us! You jealously guard our inner being. O God, you are a consuming fire. We want to please you. “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them . . . You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:13, 17) You stood as a sentinel through dark times and waited for the opportune time to reveal yourself.
“You know the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come” (Isa. 46:10). You know when a sparrow falls to the ground. You numbered the hairs on our heads. (Matt. 10:29-30) You want us for your own. You bath us in light and teach us that your grace is sufficient. How could we reject it?
But we do. Are you a myth too good to be true? O Lord, darkness looks as light when we embrace the wisdom of this world and visions not from you. The weight of it all is unbearable without you!
Oh Lord, our Redeemer, you are a consuming fire. You are God. We love you. Many of us glimpse hell before you redeem us for your glory. We sink into fear and despair spawned by alienation, illness, and loss. We cry, “Where are you, Lord?” Oh Lord, you transform us amid the trial. How gracious you are to expose our depravity. We turn and there you are! Your love is irresistible! Lord, you lifted us out of the slimy pit. . . and set our feet on a rock. We have a firm place to stand. (Psalm 40:2)
Lord, you want all of us. You alone fill the place reserved for you. “You, O Lord, are my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? You, O Lord, are the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” (Ps. 27:1). We pray that our knowing, being, and doing become a seamless dance of your love in a world in desperate need of your grace.
We move in your power and authority! Alas, we sometimes feel like Jeremiah whose knees undoubtedly shook as you said, “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them” (Jer.1: 17). You have overcome the world and even now fortify us to accomplish your purposes!
Yes, Lord, we step out in faith to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your word will not return empty but will achieve the purposes for which you sent it. (Isa. 55:11) Lord, we love your Word! We feed on you. Let your wisdom soak deep within us like water in thirsty soil.
We cannot and must not sit quietly by as others flail about in the quagmire of sin and hunger for the one true God. In love, we step out and boldly proclaim that you, Holy God, are the “blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Tim 6:15).
Let us encourage one another with these words. Christ has risen! Praise be to the rock of our salvation! We await the glorious time when “. . . the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thess 4:16–18). Is today the day? Oh Lord, let it be so. Amen.