Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!
Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
keep lifting all your praises to God!
God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
Lord, you must increase, I must decrease.
Indeed my empire will dip and die as I move through the end of life, but yours will always grow.
And by your grace I shall rise and be still part of it.
That empire of love, where he who holds on to his life will lose it, and she who loses her life will find it.
Like the rise of China, the hare, and the rise of India, the tortoise.
Like the decline of America, and Europe.
Help us, good Lord, to understand the signs of the times, and to be a wise and courageous part of your kingdom on the margins of every human power.
We pray for the leaders of nations, that we may live and serve you in peace.
We pray for those who begin their discipleship in strange and humble places, facing persecution, knowing poverty, and finding your grace sufficient for all their needs.
They shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven; we celebrate their witness, and pray for grace ourselves to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength, today and every day, as folk from north, south, east and west come and sit at table in the kingdom of God.
From the rising of the sun to its setting, may the Lord’s name be praised.