At your feet, O Christ, we lay
your own gift of this new day;
Doubt of what it holds in store
Makes us crave your aid the more;
Even in a time of loss,
Mark, it Savior, with your Cross.
Yes, we would your Word embrace,
Live each moment on your grace,
All ourselves to you consign,
Fold up all our wills in yours,
Think, and speak, and do, and be
Simply that which pleases you.
"Even now," declares the LORD,
"return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning."
Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the LORD your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity.
Who knows? He may turn and have pity
and leave behind a blessing—
grain offerings and drink offerings
for the LORD your God.
Blow the trumpet in Zion,
declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly.
Gather the people,
consecrate the assembly;
bring together the elders,
gather the children,
those nursing at the breast.
Let the bridegroom leave his room
and the bride her chamber.
Let the priests, who minister before the LORD,
weep between the temple porch and the altar.
Let them say, "Spare your people, O LORD.
Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations.
Why should they say among the peoples,
'Where is their God?' "
-- Joel 2:12-17
He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms, he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?
Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as his counselor has instructed him?
Whom did he consult for his enlightenment, and who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?
Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the isles like fine dust.
-- Isaiah 40:11-15
Lord God, You alone are holy. It is You will that creation be restored -- and that Your son is the new Adam, the first of You new creation. Christ alone is our restoration. Christ alone is the King of kings and Lord of Lord. Lord God, grant that all the people of earth may be freed and united under Your gracious and grace-fulled rule. Grant that all the people of this earth may no longer be divided by sin and enslaved by its power. Grant us freedom from its oppression.
Jesus, Our Christ, You stretched out Your arms in love -- and we nail your outstretched loving arms to the hard and unforgiving wood of the cross daily. Yet those arms gather Your people to You as a loving shepherd gathers up the lost lambs of the flock. You feed us in love, you gather us up in your aching arms with love -- You hold us close to Your heart in love. You lead us gently and gracefully with You love. Let our arms be Your arms. Clothe us with You Spirit so that we too can reach forth our hands in love and bring to Your flock the lost who live not knowing your love.
Send down upon Your clergy and upon the congregations committed to their charge, Your Holy Spirit, so that when they stand between heaven and earth proclaiming your Word to your people that they may truly be doing Your will. Grant this for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Be Thou My Vision