Lord, speak to us, that we may speak
in living echoes of your tone;
as you have sought, so let us seek
your straying children, lost and lone.
Oh, lead us, Lord, that we may lead
the wand'ring and the wav'ring feet;
oh, feed us, Lord, that we may feed
your hung'ring ones with manna sweet.
Oh, teach us, Lord, that we may teach
the precious truths which you impart;
and wing our words, that they may reach
the hidden depths of many a heart.
Oh, fill us with your fullness, Lord,
until our very hearts o'erflow
in kindling thought and glowing word,
your love to tell, your praise to show.
"Lord, speak to us, that we may speak." That is where we start. God speaks to us. God seeks, leads, feeds and teaches us. Only then can we serve as God's spokespersons who seek, lead, feed and teach "[God's] love to tell." God speaks to us through Ezekiel, the psalmist, Paul, Jesus and Luther.
This hymn by Frances Ridley Havergal summarizes God's instructions from this week's readings. Originally titled, "A Worker's Prayer", Havergal wrote it for lay church helpers. Communication is our helping work and part of our vocation to love our neighbors. God calls us to speak directly with our neighbors when sharing words of difficult warning, enlightening instruction, comforting hope and reconciling love. As we speak, we must also listen to our neighbors. Through them God may speak to us! Only when we continue to hear God speaking to us can we continue to speak love to our neighbors.