we ate at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and
we choked on it.
Facing the reality about ourselves is hard to swallow:
both good and evil are in us.
Tragically, we are good with that.
We think we can handle it—life is under our control.
Lord, save us from the fraud of our aptitude and intelligence.
Give us the wisdom to see that we aren’t that wise.
Make us like Solomon
whose greatest virtue was humility.
As long as he was merely the king
serving the High King
he was great.
When he thought he could ascend
to the high places alone
he was in for a great fall.
We prostrate ourselves before you,
trusting you will lift us up to heavenly heights—
those regions only you can.
O Lord our God,
who are we to worship you?
Who are we to receive from your generous hand?
We are aliens and strangers,
our lives are mere shadows, and
all we have belongs to you.
Yet, you call us into your presence
to kneel before you,
to worship you,
to sing praises,
to give thanks,
to make a joyful noise:
for yours, O Lord, is
the greatness and
the power and
the glory and
the majesty and
for yours, O Lord, is the kingdom and everything in heaven and earth—
all wealth and honor come from you—
you alone hold strength and power
in the palm of your hand to build up and to fortify;
for you are the ruler of all things.
Now, our God,
we bless you,
we give you thanks, and
we praise your glorious name:
the rock of our salvation,
do your best work in our darkness:
steal our hearts,
pawn our sins,
rob us of evil desires,
take us to your hideaway, and
make us part of your gang—
today and forever.
we reduce truth to words and
worship to formulas and
righteousness to rules.
Forgive our presumptuousness.
Your kingdom doesn’t fit in a glass case.
Your commands aren’t gadgets in a toolbox.
Instead of limitations,
you think in terms of expansiveness.
You are the divine muse.
You tell visionary stories.
You arouse inspiring poems.
You send musical prophets.
Your heart is known through creativity and joy—
the reflections of your image in us.
Your kingdom is interesting and
Your kingdom is life to the fullest.
Let us, the citizens of your kingdom, come alive today
and be a life-giving presence for others.
you want us to be holy and blameless
when we stand before the Father
one day beyond our days—
that day when you come with all your holy ones.
To that end, you want to give us hearts made strong
by exercising our love—
our love that begins with other believers
but keeps growing until we love everyone else—
like you do.
That’s a tall order.
About as tall as a cross.
So, I guess, it’s not our love that we love with;
it’s your love living in us, loving through us.
Today, make us aware of openings
for your sacrificial love to flow.
At your altar, Lord,
receive our offerings and
let those offerings be a sacrifice to you.
We don’t want to give you what costs us nothing;
we want to give generously, lavishly.
It’s not that we’re trying to impress you with the price tag.
We only want our worship to reflect your worth.
For we can’t count the cost of our sins:
our calculators short-circuit trying to assess
the absurd value of the cross.
Can anything compare?
Besides, we know our hearts tag along behind our money.
Because we want everything in our lives
to lead us back to you,
we set our offerings on your altar,
trusting that our hearts will get there eventually.
And though our giving might hurt at the time,
we will soon be dancing in joy before you.
the strength of my salvation,
my high tower,
the one who is worthy of praise,
the one whom the faithful know as faithful;
the one whom the upright know as upright;
the one whom the pure know as pure,
the one whom the wicked know as hostile toward them,
the one who rescues the humble and humiliates the proud,
you are my light in the darkness.
When the waves of death surround me,
when the floods of destruction sweep over me,
when the grave has a death grip on me,
when death itself stares me in the face,
you are the one I cry to in my distress,
you are the God I call to for help.
I know you hear me from your sanctuary;
I trust that my cry reaches your ears.
Partnered with you, my Almighty,
I can crush an army,
I can scale any wall,
I can overcome any obstacle,
I can move any mountain.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!