We have a book of Earth Prayers on our dining room table. Each evening before we begin our meal, we open to a random page and read the prayer. We are not religious and we do not go to church, but we do give thanks and blessings on what we have and wish well for others. We value our Earth and are stewards of our land and our community – doing what we can and what feels “right” to us. We recently read this prayer and it made me think about the new year coming and I wanted to share. Blessing to all that 2014 is your most wonderful year yet, that wrongs are forgiven, that we are accepting of others, that love abounds and that the Earth is valued above profits and greed.
For the marvelous grace of Your Creation-
We pour out our thanks to You, our God,
for sun and moon and stars,
for rain and dew and winds,
for winter cold and summer heat.
We pour forth our praise to You
for mountains and hills,
for springs and valleys,
for rivers and seas.
We praise You, O Lord,
for plants growing in earth and water,
for life inhabiting lakes and seas,
for life creeping in soils and land,
for creatures living in wetlands and waters,
for life flying above earth and sea,
for beasts dwelling in woods and fields.
How many and wonderful are Your works, our God!
In wisdom you have made them all!
But we confess, dear Lord,
as creatures privileged with the care and keeping of Your Creation
that we have abused your Creation gifts
through arrogance, ignorance, and greed.
We confess risking permanent damage to Your handiwork,
we confess impoverishing Creation’s ability to bring You praise.
Yet, we confess that Your handiwork displays Your glory,
leaving all of us without excuse
but to know You
We confess that Your handiwork
provides the context of our living,
it is our home,
it is the realm in which we live the life of Your kingdom:
Your kingdom that is now in our midst and coming yet more fully.
We confess, Lord, that we often are unaware
of how deeply we have hurt Your good earth
and its marvelous gifts.
We confess that we often are unaware
of how our abuse of Creation has also been an abuse of ourselves.
O Lord, how long will it take before we awaken to what we have
How many waters must we pollute?
How many woodlots must we destroy?
How many forests must we despoil?
How much soil must we erode and poison, O Lord?
How much of Earth’s atmosphere must we contaminate?
How many species must we abuse and extinguish?
How many people must we degrade and kill with toxic
before we learn to love and respect your Creation,
before we learn to love and respect our home?
For our wrongs, Lord, we ask forgiveness.
In sorrow for what we have done
we offer our repentance.
We pray that our actions toward You and Your Creation
are worthy of our repentance;
that we will so act here on earth that heaven will not be a shock to us.
We promise to reverence Your Creation as a gracious gift
entrusted to us by You, our God.
We promise anew to be stewards
and not pillagers
of what You have entrusted to us.
You have given us every reason to learn and promote this wisdom of lives lived in harmony
May we, your servants, increasingly serve.
May we, your servants, increasingly come to love Your Creations
as we increasingly come to love You,
through Christ Jesus,
~ North American Conference on Christianity and Ecology