Jeremiah 17:8 New International Version (NIV)
They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Our prayers come before you to implore for the patient work of strengthening our connection to you. Of the life-saving, life-building water you offer us; that we will be both steadfast and resourceful in facing the challenges before us.
The United Nations and many others warn us that climate change has moved us into unknown ranges, give us, we pray, the things we need:
Compassion for those who are disrupted and displaced,
Wisdom to assess danger,
Persistence to ameliorate.
Where the scourge of hunger destroys hope and decency:
In South Sudan where 270,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition and 4.9 million souls are severely food insecure.
In Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia with more than 14 million people are food insecure.
In Syria, where 9.4 million people are in need of food assistance.
In North Korea, where hidden economic hardships and famine endure.
In far too much of childhood in far too many places.
Give us, we pray, generosity, in funds where that is possible and in spirit that is always possible. Where greener approaches to energy, in particular in sustainable forestry practices and ‘green charcoal’ for your world where a third of your children depend on fuel wood daily, give us, we pray, hearts open to the misery of hunger, minds open to the rigors of analysis, and muscular spirits fortified by that vision you have shared with us.
Nowruz is a holiday for the first day of spring, celebrated for more than 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions and now included for all of us in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Bakers make a special cookie on that occasion.
Feed us, we pray, with that cookie in the place the poet Rumi described as, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing,” there, where the strong trees are built from drops of holy water. Amen