Two postings for Earth Day. The first “Earth Day Psalm” which is also an Earth Day lament was sent in completely as a gift by Linda Curtis-Stolper from the United States. The second is by Pat Rodgers of Canada and is re-printed from Gifts in Open Hands as so very appropriate for this occasion.
An Earth Day Psalm
Oh God, our God, You created all things and You called them “good.”
You gave humanity the privilege of caring for Your creation;
Tilling the ground, reaping the harvest,
Sharing the blessings of life in Your world;
But we have abused our position.
We have polluted and wasted and exploited and destroyed.
The good garden You created is gone,
And now the Earth cries out:
The climate rebels against the impact of our greed,
The oceans rise up because of our foolishness,
The land becomes arid and blows away,
The resources are harder to obtain and cost more when they’re found.
And we must pay the penalty
That comes from foolishly thinking that we were God,
That we knew what was best for all that surrounded us
And that there would never be any end, any consequence.
Children are hungry in some lands, even as others waste food.
Homes are ravaged by natural disasters that ultimately aren’t caused by nature.
Lives are disrupted when conveniences are interrupted.
Lives are lost due to greed and ignorance.
Oh God, our God, forgive us and help us.
We believe that You are faithful, we know that You are patient, we trust in Your wisdom.
Teach us the lessons we need to learn;
Show us new ways, better ways, Your ways to care for Your creation.
Help us to be unselfish stewards of Your Earth.
Educate us in management and conservation and appreciation.
Make us understand how our lives and our actions are intertwined.
Save us from our greedy, sinful selves.
God is steadfast forever.
God still wants to live in relationship with humanity, with all that was created “good.”
God’s eternal plan for creation will not be swayed
By the foolhardy acts of unthinking people.
For a time, we must suffer God’s judgment;
For a time, we must deal with the results of what we have done.
But God will not abandon God’s creation;
God will again make all things “good.”
Four Directions Prayer (participants stand facing in the direction of the prayer, starting in the East and ending in the North)
Creator God, we look to the East where the day begins. We give thanks for the rising sun that warms, nourishes and brings life. We thank you for children, precious gifts of your Spirit, and we are grateful for the responsibility you give us for their care.
Creator God, we look to the South where the waters of the Great Lakes flow. We thank you for water, life sustainer. We pray for those who protect our water. We thank you for our youth, who challenge and enliven us. We are grateful for the responsibility you give to us for their care.
Creator God, we look to the West where the sun sets and night begins – the time of resting and renewal. We thank you for our adults who work to provide for others, build homes, create industry and nurture families. We are grateful for the responsibility you give us to respect and care for them.
Creator God, we look to the North, the white country, where in the long evenings of winter we dream dreams and see visions that transform us. We thank you for our elders whose wisdom, knowledge and laughter sustain us all through our life’s journey. We are grateful for the responsibility you give us for their care.
Creator God, you are powerful in this Circle of life.
Accept our gratitude and thanksgiving we pray,
in the name of the One who showed us the kingdom,
so that we may embrace each other without shame or glory,
so that we may look upon our errors with regret and seek forgiveness,
so that we may move forward in hope of new life in you. Amen