How pleasant it is when all of God’s children
Dwell together in unity,
Breaking bread and singing praises,
People of faith by God’s love made free.

How noisy it is when all of God’s children,
Follow joyfully our Savior’s lead,
Feed the hungry, teach the curious
Working together, serve those in need.

How holy it is when all of God’s children
Pray together “thy kingdom come.”
Blessed Spirit, dwell among us
Heal our divisions and make us one.

11.8.8.9

Scripture references
Ps. 133:1
John 17:22-23
1 Cor. 12:12-27

Advertisements

When I sleep, before the dawn,
I’m walking in the light of God.
When I wake and all day long,
I’m walking in the light of God.
In that light I’m called to be
Jesus’ child, from sin made free.
From morn to night this is my song–
I’m walking in the light of God.

When there’s grief along the way
Still walking in the light of God,
I remind myself and pray
While walking in the light of God.
Though I’m scared and feel alone
By God’s grace I will be shown
That even on the darkest day
I’m walking in the light of God.

Saints and angels all come too,
We’re walking in the light of God.
Chosen people—me and you,
We’re walking in the light of God.
Sent into a world of need
Following our Savior’s lead
Praising Christ in all we do
We’re walking in the light of God.

Serve One Another in Love

Because we were sinners, Christ came to be
Savior and Servant and Lord.
Baptized in his name, made holy and free
His children are called to serve.

Refrain
Jesus who lived on the earth and who died
Jesus who rose and who reigns
Jesus has called us to walk in his ways
To serve one another in love.

In love we speak truth with words that are kind
Words that speak justice and peace.
The way that we live together’s a sign
Of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Refrain

When sisters and brothers sin and offend
Christians are called to forgive
As we ourselves daily trust and depend
On mercy from God above.

Refrain

We ask for God’s help, as we seek to serve
Neighbors both far and close by.
The Spirit empow’rs our gifts and transforms
Each kindly word and deed.

Refrain

No one shall be left in hunger or thirst
None left in lonely pain.
In love we recall the last shall be first
When God’s kingdom comes on earth.

Refrain

Gwen Gotsch
June 30, 2008
Rev. August 5, 2008

At the Harvest, in the Autumn

At the harvest, in the autumn, at the waning of the year
As we come to count our blessings, we confront the ancient fear:
Is there enough? The bushels laid up—will they last until the spring?
Can we truly count on God for enough of everything?

In the winter, in the stillness, in a barren, cold new year
As we wait and watch, we worry if the springtime will appear:
Where is the light, the voice that called us from the shadows of the womb?
Will God come to lead the way through the darkness and the gloom?

When the buds along the tree branch remain brown and tightly furled
When the waters from the rainstorms rise and flood familiar worlds
When summer heat burns down relentless on our souls long parched and dry–
Oh, where is the God who hears when believers cry out, why?

We may rage and we may sorrow, feel new grief each time we wake.
The old friends we love may leave us, we may live with hearts that ache.
Yet Christ is here and walks beside us, knows our anger and our pain,
And is present and made known in what cannot be explained.

Anxious souls, trust your Creator, the great God of boundless grace
Whose redeeming love can enter every dark and lonely place
Praise Love unchanging, Love eternal, Love immediate and strong
Love that reaches into hearts and turns weeping into song.

 

Gwen Gotsch
Revised June 17 2012
15 15 16 14

 

On the first day of creation
When the universe was dark,
God’s spirit swept the waters.
God’s voice set off the spark:
“Let there be light”
In the morning, all the day.
Let your light shine as you praise
the God who formed you out of clay.

Shepherds in dark fields abiding
Trembled when an angel bright
Appeared and spoke the good news,
A Savior born that night.
Christ, the true light,
A new kingdom would bring in.
Let your light shine as you praise
the God who sets you free from sin.

When the women came with spices
At the dawn of Easter Day
They found the tomb was empty
The stone was rolled away
“He is not here,
He is risen as he said.”
Let your light shine as you praise
the God who died and yet who lives.

With a rush of wind the Spirit
Set disciples’ hearts aflame.
They told of God’s great promise,
Proclaimed in Jesus’ name,
Light to the ones
Who believe and are baptized.
Let your light shine as you praise
the God who made you his own child.

8 7 7 6 4 7 7 8

August 2010, Easter stanza added in March 2011

Let Us Grow in Grace and Wisdom

In your mercy, Lord, you’ve blessed us,
In our homes and church and school,
Given food and clothes and shelter,
Parents, friends, and teachers, too.
Yet we ask another blessing
As we gather in this place,
Grant us grace to grow in wisdom.
Grant us wisdom to see grace.

We are hungry, Lord, for knowledge
As our minds and bodies grow.
In the world that you’ve created
There is always more to know.
In our studies and our learning
Grant us grace to realize
That you are the one who made us
And that you alone are wise.

Though your care, O Lord, surrounds us,
It is hard for us to see
Since so many things can blind us
To the truth that sets us free.
Grant us grace to sense your presence
In a neighbor’s tearful face.
Grant us wisdom to show mercy
As your Son has shown us grace.

Grant us blessings of your Spirit:
Patience, kindness, self-control,
Open hearts and joyful spirits,
Generous and peaceful souls.
We rely on you to guide us,
As your will on earth is done.
Let us grow in grace and wisdom,
Trusting in your perfect love.

Musical setting by Michael D. Costello, August 2011, for the students of Grace Lutheran School, River Forest, Illinois

Alternate (non-school) texts for stanzas one and two

In your mercy, Lord, you’ve blessed us,
Every day with gifts anew
Given food and clothes and shelter,
Family, friends, vocation, too.
Yet we ask another blessing
As we come before your face,
Grant us grace to grow in wisdom.
Grant us wisdom to see grace.

We are hungry, Lord, for knowledge
For our minds to change and grow
In the world that you’ve created
There is so much more to know.
In our worship and our living

Communion hymn

Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
You bring forth bread from earth.
We plant the grain, we reap, we bake, 
Yet it is all your work.

Here in your sacred feast you come
To us as unseen guest,
Yet when the bread is lifted up
We recognize our host.

As broken one, as Lamb of God,
Your presence is made known.
Our troubled minds, our guilty hearts
You call to be your own.

The meal we celebrate reveals
The healing power of grace.
In golden wine we taste and see
The sunshine of your face.

Thus fed by you we go in peace
And serve as you command.
We work your fields, we till your soil
Blessed by your loving hand.

8.6.8.6.

Originally written for Thanksgiving Day 2009, at Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest Illinois
Revised November, 2012.

Hymn text on Phiippians 4:4

Trusting the grace and peace of God
Behind his prison bars,
Paul praised Christ who gave up his life,
Saying Christ’s mind must be ours.
Children of God, obedient and pure,
Rejoice in the Lord.

Refrain
Rejoice in the Lord always,
Again I say rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always,
Again I say rejoice.

Living with gentleness and joy
Share Christ in all you do.
Thank the Lord in praising and prayer
And God’s peace will be with you.
Children of God, do not be afraid,
Rejoice in the Lord.

Refrain

(Written for the students of Grace Lutheran School, August 2012.)