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.
Dear God, Creator of seasonal lights,
The Maker and Marker of human time —
We’ve limited years, our earthly lot
By land and sea and air contained.
The imagination flies beyond,
In search of your eternity;
So help us live to apprehend
The promised life we cannot see.
Father in heaven, the years roll on, and life accelerates, rushing toward the end. We pray for Jesus’ return, so we welcome our meeting together with him. This earth holds little for us besides the ones we love. We wish to be in heaven with them as well. But nothing can dampen our desire to be with Christ.
Support us as we live now in the present, that we might eat and work with your blessing. We seek the kingdom first and trust in your goodness to provide our needs.
The coming holidays and year’s end bring concerns, but let us see in the turning of the calendar still more evidence of your hand and your care for us. You hold this world and move it around the sun. You hold our lives in your hands as well, we rejoice in your goodness.
Let our minds continually ponder your power and mercy for your people. We rest in your shadow, we are renewed by your sun and rain and fruit of nourishment.
You, Father, have given us life and strength and purpose. We glorify you for your perfect plan and for the freedom in Christ to serve and grow. Make us complete in him.
Heavenly Father, let this be a day of peace, when fullness and joy and blessing populate the hours.
Let this be a day of security, when we rest in you and find safety in your shadow.
Let this be a day of sowing, when the seed of the gospel is scattered far and wide and the power of salvation comes to needy souls.
Let this be a day of reaping, with shouts of joy at seeing friends and family and perfect strangers come into your family.
Let this be a day of faithfulness, as we decide in every situation to do your will and please you in all things.
Let this be a day of hope, with sights set on heaven and the prayer of Jesus’ return on our lips.
Let this be the day when love is shown and shared and received, when people are treated as equals, and our time is dedicated to others, and our obedience brings to us your special presence.
O Lord, let today be the day when we live for these things and not for the world and its passions and ephemeral pleasures; let today be yours and a closer step toward our life in heaven with you.
Wind, rain, and sun upon the earth
Wear away its surface, leach the soil,
But in return they bring a blessing of life.
The years of toil and tears, the constant trials
Break down the body, bow the heavy shoulders,
But strengthen a spirit whose daily might is God.
O Lord, in you may we discover the power of love.
Why let me waken from my nightly sleep?
O Lord, why give me another unsoiled day,
Like bread fresh from the oven, ready for butter,
If not to serve and love and glorify your Name?
Lord, let us see our time on earth as our friend,
With every thought and action geared to the end,
To learn, prepare, and grow in full desire,
For your most glorious presence in pure attire.
Lord, let us know that life is made of hours,
And moments, being present, with mental powers
In focus on our eternal purpose — earth
And heaven anew, with saints of spiritual birth.
Lord, let us find in Christ the only way
To you and all your hosts — for this we pray
And work and wait, as age and wisdom grow —
In hope, we think this passing time is slow.
The end has come, and all is finished,
A year complete, of yearnings and strivings,
The lights above aligned in journey,
And moving in their maddened course,
Decree that time must crest and wane. Continue reading
For a year of life, on this last day
Of Two-Thirteen, we give you thanks,
For Sol’s bright light, for evening’s gray,
To be alive with blessed saints. Continue reading
Eternal God over and beyond time, we have left another month in the year, if you do not send the Lord Jesus before then, and if you choose to give us life until then. May we snap up the opportunities you give us in these last days. Continue reading
Life seems to pass too fast, eternal God.
Is this your doing, also? Did you design
The rush of events and the speed of days
To create in me the desire for you, the Timeless?
Eternal God, time is in your hand, the minutes, hours, and days are yours, you above and beyond them. When your Son and our Lord Jesus Christ abides in us, every moment counts, and time is redeemed for eternity. May the work of our hands praise you. May our lips exalt your name. May our steps through the sinuous paths of this world at every moment leave the footprints of the Man of Galilee. Amen.