The Fifth Sunday in Lent: March 26, 2023

O God, Creator of all things,
we lift up our hearts to you
in gratitude for the past week’s happiness:
For the mere joy of living,
for the sights and sounds around us;
for the loveliness of our town
and the peace of the countryside that surrounds it,
for all things living and beautiful that hints of a coming spring—
for friendship and good company;
for tasks to perform and the gifts needed to perform them;
for health and home and rest from our labors.

Yet let us never think, O Eternal One, that we are here to stay.
Let us still remember that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Therefore, preserve us by thy grace
from so losing ourselves in the joys of the world
that we have no longing left for the purer joys of heaven.
So if, instead of happiness, we have suffered any disappointment of defeat;
if there has been any sorrow where we had hoped for joy;
or sickness where we had looked for health,
give us grace to accept it from your hand as a loving reminder
that this is not our true home.

We thank you, O God, that you have so set eternity within our hearts
that no earthly thing can ever satisfy us wholly.
And, above all, thank you for the sure hope and certain promise
of an endless life which you have given us in the good news
of Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose Name we pray. Amen.
—based on John Baillie, A Diary of Private Prayer