Autumn’s Bounty — Ana & Tod Gobledale, UK

A responsive prayer
Luke 12:13-21

Provider of Life, creator of the earth and all that is in it, we lift our prayers of thanks to you
For the beauty of the earth that surrounds us,
For spring flowers that dazzle us and summer’s greenery that delights us,
For autumn’s bounty that sustains us and prepares us for winter’s hibernation.

Thanks be to you, creator of the heavens and the earth, to whom all things belong.

We enjoy your abundance, yet are seduced by accumulation.
The mantra, ‘More is better,’ lulls us.
We seek ever greater harvests, fuller silos and brimming larders.
New inventions become seeming ‘necessities.’
We fill our cupboards and closets, basements and barns to overflowing.
Yet we despair, feeling our lives standing empty.

God, let us not be possessed by our possessions.

We claim to enjoy your peace, yet we persist in worry.
We fear the harvest will not see us through the dark days of winter.
We persist our abundance will not suffice.
Yet we despair, sensing our coveted treasures bring no lasting meaning to life.

God, let us not be possessed by our possessions.

We sing of your ‘blessed assurance,’ yet crave promises from our banks and pensions.
We fear our future finances.
We store up more and more riches for our earthly security.
Yet we despair, discovering we are not ‘rich towards’ You.

God, let us not be possessed by our possessions.

We commit ourselves to care for others,
Yet we hoard the harvest, over-stocking our pantries for tomorrow, while millions suffer empty bellies today.
We focus on our shoe collection while millions go bare-footed.
We lament our fashion follies while others lament that their children go naked and cold.
We deposit ever more into our bank accounts while millions survive day-to-day.

God, let us not be possessed by our possessions.

God, our life span is short, at any moment to be taken from us.
Free us from fear, and fill us with your ample harvest of hope.
Release us from insecurity and restore us to contentment with the abundance of your kin-dom.

Thanks be to you, creator of the heavens and the earth, to whom all things belong.