Pastoral Prayer for March 5, 2023
(In today’s sermon I’ll be pointing out a big mistake in St. Augustine’s theology of original sin. Augustine said many problematic things, but he also said many good things. And one of the best things he said was that “Singing is praying twice,” or as we might say today, “Singing is prayer squared.” Following Augustine’s lead, our pastoral prayer today will be the poetry contained in the words to the hymn “Praise to the Living God,” by Curtis Beach, a United Church of Christ minister and theologian.)
Let us be in prayer together,
hearing the words to this hymn of praise for God’s very good creation:
Praise to the living God, the God of love and light,
Whose word brought forth the myriad suns and set the worlds in flight;
Whose infinite design, which we but dimly see,
Pervades all nature, making all a cosmic unity.
Praise to the living God, from whom all things derive,
Whose Spirit formed upon this sphere the first faint seeds of life;
Who caused them to evolve, unwitting, toward God’s goal,
Till humankind stood on the earth, as living, thinking, souls.
Praise to the living God, who knows our joy and pain,
Who shares with us our common life, the sacred and profane.
God toils wher-e’er we toil, in home and mart and mill;
And deep within the human heart God leads us forward still.
Praise to the living God, around, within, above,
Beyond the grasp of human mind, but whom we know as love.
In these tumultuous days, so full of hope and strife,
May we bear witness to the Way, O Source and Goal of life.