Rejoice for the new day

Father in Heaven,

Thank you for Your abiding presence

At the dawn of this new day.

The glory of Your throne shines forth,

The heavens show Your wisdom on display;

And together Your Word and Your world proclaim:

This is the day which the Lord has made,

And my soul responds:

I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Thank You for life and breath at birth,

And my growth as a child upon this earth.

Parents that taught me to work in the sod;

Then, by faith, You made me a child of God.

Held in Your hand, I'm a person of worth,

Heaven bound, yet for now a creature of Earth.

On the one hand I live in a vessel of clay

Who must feed on the fruits of Earth's soil each day?

Yet the life of Your Spirit is burning within;

And my soul requires

Both the bread of Earth and the Bread of Life.

So please hear my thanks on this glorious day

As I lift them to You from this vessel of clay.

For the rising sun, and its rays as they race

To warm the earth in the right time and place,

And power each green plant as it grows and thrives

Joining carbon with water, making food for most lives.

And thanks for these sources of life-giving air:

Green forests, meadows, and seas do their share

Without cost, to sustain life on this lovely blue sphere.

And my soul inquires:

What then is my role while I'm living here?

For You are Creator Sustainer of all

You made Adam a steward by dominion's call.

All sheep and the oxen placed under his care

To exercise dominion on the Earth everywhere.

Nothing withheld from Your sovereign call;

But men sought to be gods, and then came the fall.

Now broken relationships cloud every dimension-

Mankind against God, against man and creation;

God's judgment and death loom o'er every nation.

And my soul inquires:

Will there be any hope for this generation?

Yes, our hope is in Jesus, the Savior of all,

Second Adam, lowly steward of His Father's call.

Born with sheep and the oxen, and faced with much sorrow,

No place for His head,18 and a colt He would borrow.

Though men sought to be gods and brought on the fall,

Very God became man to reconcile all-

Mankind with God, with all men and creation;

It's the Gospel of hope and reconciliation.

Without cost to believers, Christ's death brings new birth.

And my soul inquires:

How should the redeemed now live on this Earth?

We should love our neighbor and not withhold good,

With hearts stirred by our Savior, we'll do what He would.

As we go, give the gospel to many lost hoards,

By our winsome deeds as well as with words.

Choose not to hoard treasures of silver and gold;

Wages drawn from the Earth through injustice untold.

Instead we must reach the weak, helpless, and poor

Who through media's waves are as close as our door.

When sinners seek purpose in material worth

My soul realizes,

Christ came to reconcile them with God and the Earth.

But some say "give the Gospel, Good News needs the preaching;

If our neighbor is lost, how will creation care reach him?"

Yes, we must give the Gospel and not withhold good,

But our neighbor's struggle includes his neighborhood.

He seeks pleasure, position, power, satisfaction;

And these wages are gained at great cost to creation.

Pity beast or mankind if they block his way

To his gains without ethics-only profits hold sway.

While creation keeps groaning and awaits sons of God,

My soul understands:

I'm both called to serve neighbor and care for this sod.

Yes, Christ came to Earth, reconciler of all things --

Mankind, creatures, and land need the freedom He brings.

So we share the good news, while Earth's goods we conserve,

And our neighbors are won by the lifestyle they observe.

When they see that our joy is in Christ, not in things

They may open their hearts to what His Spirit brings.

And when they find this same joy, they too will pursue

Lifestyles that praise God while they give Earth its due.

So that together Your Word and Your world may proclaim:

This is the day which the Lord has made,

And let Heaven and Earth respond:

We will rejoice and be glad in it.

John Silvius is senior professor of Biology and the Center for Bioethics Associate for Environmental Ethics at Cedarville University, Cedarville. He maintains a blog entitled "Oikonomia."

(Used by permission of "Flourish" magazine and is accessible online at http://flourishonline.org/2009/12/a-stewards-prayer/)