1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
4 Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
5 May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
6 Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.
It’s the cycle of it all, God, that I cannot comprehend:
our world has a growing population—
more mouths to feed—
so we need grains with higher yields,
these cash crops have no resilience
to local pests,
or changeable weather patterns;
what’s the use in that?
We are changing our climate
in the race to get rich,
making the most vulnerable ever more at risk
of starvation when crops fail.
It hurts my head and my heart, God,
that you created a world for us to enjoy:
an abundance of delightful variety
to be shared with each other joyfully;
yet, here we are,
locked in a vicious cycle of wanting more
without counting the cost to those we don’t see:
out of sight, out of might, right?
We are all part of this delicate web of creation:
When one hurts, we are all diminished.
Bread of Life:
lift us out of this vicious cycle
that puts great profits for the few
before good health for the many;
Spirit of Truth:
lift our eyes from our own tables
to complicated chains of growth and production
stretching across the world;
Lord of All:
restore our humanity
until weeping is silenced,
drowned out by shouts of joy, Amen.