Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?….Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?… Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it?
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels! Praise him, all the armies of heaven! Praise him, sun and moon! Praise him all you twinkling stars! Praise him skies above!.. Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for he issued his command, and they came into being.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
O Lord, let me wake in my right mind tomorrow.. so that my first thoughts are not of the unsettled sleep of the night; nor of the aches and pains of my ageing body; but of you.
O Lord, let me wake in my right mind tomorrow…so that my first thoughts are not of the fragility of the lives of my loved ones; nor of the troubles, trials and temptations they are facing; but of you.
O Lord, let me wake in my right mind tomorrow….so that my first thoughts are not of the tasks which I must accomplish; nor of the pleasures in which I hope to indulge; but of you.
Who or what am I, that I should differ from all the rest of creation, by failing to praise you, my creator, with every breath and every fibre of my being?
Who, or what am I, that I should demand an accounting from the almighty, eternal God, for his dealings with me, instead of worshipping him in prostrate adoration, and freely confessing his right to do exactly as he pleases?
Who, or what am I, that I should believe that alone among all people, I have trials and difficulties which are beyond God’s care or capacity to deal with?
May I be forgiven, in the name of my sweet and glorious Lord, for such foolish, wicked arrogance. May I realise more clearly than ever, that I can trust God, in all his ways, because in Christ he has revealed his love for me. May I let that love so heal my thinking that I no longer doubt him, or when doubting yet claim his promises and refuse to despair.
I have been shown the loving face of God, the Almighty and unimaginably other, in the person of Jesus, his son. I have been given the revelation of God’s love in action, the story of his great plan to redeem his creation from its bondage to decay. I have seen glimpses – all that the human mind can bear – of the glory which is assured to me through his promises to all who call Jesus Lord. And do I still dare to allow my own sin-skewed perspective to twist the truth about him into lies?
Oh God, give me the clear-sight which I need, so that I see things straight again. Let me see that everything, all creation, all humankind, is here solely that your Son, your beloved one, might receive the glory you desire and which is his due. In your astonishing love and mercy, you have set your love upon us, and plan for our blessing; but the end of it all is so much bigger than that!
Let me join daily with the morning stars, as they rejoice together in the dawn, and praise the eternal Word from whom they sprang; let me think not of myself, but of him and be so entranced by his beauty and worth that all the shadows of my own life shrink into their proper size, and no longer dominate my thinking.
When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries, may Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair: May Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this, while life is mine, my canticle* divine, may Jesus Christ be praised!
Be this the eternal song through all the ages long, may Jesus Christ be praised!
( German 19th century; translated Ed Caswall, 1814-78)
*canticle – a song