Prayers of the People on Earth Day
Prayed by Rev. Tom Are, Jr. on Earth Day, April 22, 2012, at Village Presbyterian Church
Creator God and creating God and Lover of beauty:
Before the world ever was, how is it that you imagined color?
Reds and greens and blues and yellows of infinite shades.
And before there were creatures, how is it that you imagined song?
Of birds and whales and coyotes and children?
And how is it that you imagined, o God,
rhythm pounded out by waves on the shore.
You must love the rhythm of orbits and seasons,
of woodpeckers and heartbeats.
There nothing so beautiful to you, it seems, than the coming of spring when the earth rouses from sleep to burst forth in new life and energy renewed.
There is nothing so beautiful to you, it seems, than the mystery of how
a warm sun and cool waters,
gentle breezes and seeds that split open and cell by new cell climb toward the stars— bearing fruit and food
all of which miraculously forms the mystery of earth and life and home.
There is nothing so beautiful to you, it seems, than the creation that was pulled from nothingness by the sound of your voice, by the power of your word…. nothing so beautiful except even more beautiful to you are your children:
the work of the sixth day.
The work of creation fashioned in your image
and shaped by love.
Surely you find your children most beautiful of all, when
we live lives as compassionate stewards of all that belongs to you.
And even more beautiful are your children when they
Choose generosity over greed,
And compassion over fear,
And forgiveness over revenge
And care over apathy
And joy over despair
And love—love which is always a sampling of your own Spirit.
It seems there is nothing more beautiful to you than this.
So surely nothing grieves you so much as when that which is beautiful turns ugly.
Does it confuse you, O God, when your creation, … the collection of color and song and breath and heartbeat… does it confuse you when your creation which you fashioned good, turns ugly;
And waters fresh and clean are soured
And air fresh and sweet, grows dark
And food becomes less your garden and more our factory.
Does it keep you awake at night? Are you up all night, unable to sleep because of the groaning?
Do you hear the weeping of your whole creation,
groaning under the stress of abuse and greed, and more greed, and unending greed?
Surely nothing grieves you more than the erosion of your good creation, save even more so than this, the callousness by which your children, the crown of creation, treat each other;
Choosing fear rather than love
Choosing selfishness rather than generosity
Choosing to believe this moment matters more than tomorrow
And our lives matter more than our children’s children
And our comfort matters more than our calling.
Surely this is the ultimate source of your broken heart.
But this week is a new week of your creating,
And tomorrow a new day of your resurrecting,
So this week, let there be generosity of gifts and of heart offered in the name of Jesus.
And may there be acts of healing and restoration committed in the name of Jesus.
And may there be bold works of new life claimed in the name of Jesus.
And may there be hope lived in the name of Jesus.
And may relationships withered and atrophied be breathed to life yet again, in the name of Jesus.
May we in every moment this week remember yet again that Jesus is alive,
So hope reigns,
And justice is coming,
And love wins,
And life will never surrender to the powers of death.
Surely nothing is more beautiful to you than this.