Solidarity with Creation — Lawrence Moore, UK

photo by Kerry Handasyde, Australia

The earth needs saving.

This service has been created for worship focused on creation, perhaps on Earth Day, Trinity Sunday (Year A of the Common Lectionary) when Genesis 1 is read, or during Season of Creation (Creation Time).

You promised us the earth and you delivered.
You gave us a home – a dwelling of delight; a good place to be.
You gave it to us, saying, ‘Here.  This is my gift to you. Live! Make it yours.’
We have made the world in our own image.
We have treated it like we do each other.
The earth needs saving.

Genesis 1.26-31

26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

27So God created humankind in God’s image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them.

28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.

30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31God saw everything that was made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Psalm 8,2-9

1 O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established;
4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?
5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honour.
6 You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet,
7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9  O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You made us gods in your own image;
gave us power and care of the earth.
But we are slave-takers, God of Freedom.
We have become the Pharaohs of creation
and chained the earth to our own self-destruction.
We whisper our fear as a prayer:
‘O God!  What have we done?
Is it too late?’

Glory to you, God of creation!
The heavens are the works of your hand.
Infinite galaxies – suns and moons and planets – praise you.
Shooting stars celebrate your beauty.
Black holes proclaim your mystery.
The earth is the work of your hand – your Word made matter.
Mountains declare your grandeur.
Rivers and seas gurgle and thunder your praise.
Trees lift their arms in worship.
Flowers and plants declare your richness.
The earth and water teem with your Life.
And we, your children, mirror your infinite variety.
God of the Universe, glory to you!

Pause before the prayer, allowing God’s Spirit to search your heart.  Make your own confession.  Pause after the prayer to experience the reality of God’s forgiveness.

What are we mortals that we deserve our time and all future time just for today?
What have we done to demand that our grandchildren’s inheritance ought to nourish us now?
What pretensions to power give us the right to trash the planet; to pass sentence of death on Life itself?
Burst my bubble, Sovereign One. I am dust with delusions of divinity.
Re-make me in your image that I may be, with you, a co-creator of Life rather than an architect of death.

Read the prayers aloud.  At each point, pause to reflect and fill in the names of places and people as appropriate.

Creator God,
I see your goodness and your greatness in the world around me;
in the vibrancy of colour,
the intricacy of design,
the delicate veins of the leaves,
and the grandeur of the mountain crags.
I marvel at the richness of the tapestry you have woven;
I stand in awe of your creative power.

Divine Weaver
You have taken the threads of my life
and knit them together with yours in Jesus.
By your Spirit
You call me to stitch with you the canvas of resurrection;
of hope for a world of despair;
of joy for a world of sadness;
of forgiveness for a world wrapped in guilt;
of healing for broken people and a broken planet.

Yours are the colours of dreams;
Yours are the stitches that make whole;
Yours are the threads of Life.
Glory to you, breathtaking God.

We pray for your world, O God,
that its beauty might be preserved, its variety maintained, its integrity respected.
That pollution and exploitation might cease so that rivers can clap their hands,
waste places burst into flower, mountains and hills rejoice, and wild animals live in safety.
That our children of tomorrow will not need a museum to show them the wonders of today.
That they will know the birds, the harvest, the lilies, the sunset in all their beauty.
Convert the hearts of those who ravage the earth.
Strengthen the resolve of those who respect it.
May their voices be heard, their warnings heeded, their example emulated.
Save us from our own destructiveness. Curb our selfishness.
This earth is your gift to us; our children’s future.
Prevent us from destroying what is not our own.

(Based on Evening Liturgy D, A Wee Worship Book, WGWG)

Bless us, Creator of the Universe, with the sun that warms us, the moon above us, the earth beneath us, your image within us, the day that is before us.

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