Thursday, March 20th, 2014 – The Third Thursday in Lent
Lord, It Is Night
This prayer comes from the New Zealand Prayer Book and has ‘made the rounds’ as an excellent final prayer of the day. It is one of the options in their Compline service, which we offer in its sung version most Sunday nights during the school year at the Church on the Hill.
When I started these Lenten meditations on Ash Wednesday, I used a quote from T.S. Eliot which said that in our end is our beginning. Poetically, simply, and with the wisdom of Life Lived with God, this prayer expresses the truth of Eliot’s quote in the context of the daily end of an ‘ordinary’ life.
This prayer also echoes the sentiment given to us by Paul that we are the Lord’s possession, that we belong to God:
Lord, it is night.
The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name we pray.
– Christopher Powell