The sounds of life surround us — babies, dogs,
machines, the singing of birds, the whir of fans,
overhead planes, far-off thunder, groans
of pain and death — these sounds are us, O Lord,
on earth in movement toward the final day.
We strain to hear angelic trumpets, voices
announcing the coming of the sovereign Lord —
a moment’s laughter turned to eternal joy,
the happy cries of birth to heaven’s life,
the ringing welcome into the city’s gates.
Make it so! — Rip the skies apart
and sweep us up, in glorious clouds, to meet
our Savior and leave all woe and heavy care!
Though here we serve at your good pleasure, time
is not short enough by our impatient measure.
Father, thank you for rain to refresh the earth,
And for the Spirit to reaffirm our worth;
We thank you for the moist and nurturing soil,
And for a heavenly purpose behind our toil;
Our thanks we give for sun and moon and stars,
For time to make the blessed gospel ours;
To you we owe all praise for life and health,
For freedom from our sin and carnal filth;
Blest be the God who made the ocean waves,
And brought to man the Son who fully saves.
What a roller coaster this world is, O Lord! People are led by their passions and emotions, swayed by their peers, motivated by the approval of those who have no influence on their eternal destiny. Keep me from entering this heart-rending ride.
How small is the life lived far from you, O Lord! Nothing beyond the visible, idols on every side, routines with no redeeming qualities. Keep me near your presence.
How short a human’s time on earth, O Lord! We are born to trouble, we age quickly, our bodies wear out rapidly. Keep me now that I might enter your eternal kingdom.