Almighty God, Creator:
The morning is Yours, rising into fullness.
The summer is Yours, dipping into autumn.
Eternity is Yours, dipping into time.
The vibrant grasses, the scent of flowers,
the lichen on the rocks, the tang of seaweed,
All are yours.
Gladly we live in this garden of Your creating.
But creation is not enough.
Always in the beauty, the foreshadowing of decay.
The lambs frolicking careless:
so soon to be led off to slaughter.
Nature red and scarred as well as lush and green.
In the garden also: Always the thorn.
Creation is not enough.
Almighty God, Redeemer:
The sap of life in our bones and being is Yours, lifting us to ecstasy.
But always in the beauty:
the tang of sin, in our consciences.
The dry lichen of sins long dead,
but seared upon our minds.
In the garden that is each of us, always the thorn.
Yet all are Yours as we yield them again to You.
Not only our lives that You have given are Yours:
but also our sins that You have taken.
Even our livid rebellions and putrid sins:
You have taken them all away
and nailed them to the Cross!
Our redemption is enough: and we are free.
Holy Spirit, Enlivener:
Breathe on us, fill us with life anew.
In Your new creation, already upon us,
breaking through, groaning and travailing,
but already breaking through, breathe on us.
Till that day when night and autumn vanish:
and lambs grown sheep are no more slaughtered: and even the
thorn shall fade
and the whole earth shall cry “Glory!” at the marriage feast of the
In this new creation, already upon us,
fill us with life anew.
You are admitting us now
into a wonderful communion,
The foretaste of that final feast.
Help us to put on the wedding garment of rejoicing
which is none of our fashioning
but Your gift to us alone.
By the glories of Your creation,
which we did not devise:
by the assurance of Your freeing us,
which we could not accomplish:
by the wind of Your Spirit, eddying down the centuries through
these walls renewed:
whispering through our recaptured oneness, fanning our faith to
help us to put on the wedding garment.
So shall we go out into the world, new created, new redeemed,
and new enchained together:
to fight for Your Kingdom in our fallen world.
Very Revd. Lord George Macleod of Fuinary, Founder of the Iona community,
From “The whole earth shall cry glory”, Wild Goose Publications, 1985
© Iona Community
[HT Richard Russell]