Habakkuk 3:17-18: Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
Lord it is in You that we live and move and have our being. You provide for us at the deepest level of our being and sustain our lives with so many good things, even when we go about our days many times believing we’re accomplishing for ourselves everything we need. We live in one of the wealthiest and most advanced societies in history and Lord because of this we so often can deeply take for granted what we have, find our hope in these things even, and become so easily discouraged if these things are disrupted. Would you grant us hearts of thanksgiving and gratitude, not even primarily for material possessions but for you as our provider? Would you move us to find our rest, our identity, our meaning, our joy in You and You alone as a church? Just as Elisabeth Elliot said Lord, the secret is Christ in us, not us in a different set of circumstances. Lord would you massage that into our hearts that it would become the very essence of who we are as Your people, that we would be a Christ-centered people who rally around the cross and resurrection? That it would move us out from ourselves and into the lives of those in need, both within our church and those outside our walls? And that we would find our ultimate need to be met in Christ instead of the things of the world that constantly vy for our attention and our hearts’ devotion?
Almighty God, who through your only-begotten Son Jesus Christ have overcome death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life: grant that, as by your grace going before us you put into our minds good desires, so by your continual help we may bring them to good effect; through Jesus Christ our risen Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP)