Holy and loving God, on this first Sunday of Advent, we turn our hearts and our minds towards you in Hope.
You are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with tenderness all that exists:
Every creature that crawls or swims or flies, every plant that turns its face to the sun, every snowflake that falls from the sky, every rock placed upon the earth.
We confess that it is not always tenderness that moves us,
Not always love, not always hope, not always peace.
Sometimes we are moved by fear and ignorance, sometimes by greed or hatred, sometimes by ambivalence or complacency.
Forgive us, O God
And pour out upon us the radical power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace,
that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives: our bodies, our spirits, our relationships,
that we may protect the world and not prey upon it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with wonder and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature as we wander towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace. We live in your hope.
Adapted from A Prayer for Our Earth written by Pope Francis for the 2015 Paris Summit on Climate Change.
Adapted by Thandiwe Dale-Ferguson, Cairn Christian Church, Lafayette, Colorado USA