We offer these prayers.
We are amazed to hear of a meteorite coming from interstellar space, found in the Pacific Ocean, and discovered to be formed of an unknown alloy of metals. Forger of rock and mountain, waterfall and volcano we are in awe of this world and beyond.
And we extract its minerals and water and build dams not understanding this web, this great interdependence and its immense connections. We have built 4-lane highways on sheer slopes in mountainous regions of India. The area has endured over 700 landslides during this year’s monsoon. The loss of life and devastation covered by this week’s news will remain in memories for lifetimes and beyond. Walk with us as we try to make sense of it all.
God of the bedrock, of the ancient aquifer, of the falling rain, you know of its descent into the deep spaces, the glacial water, the thousands of years it takes to create these watery reserves in your eternal time. In our brief time, we have created dust bowls and despoiled once pristine lands.
In our time we use water as though there was “no tomorrow” and are drying up ground water, even deep wells, reducing grain yields, creating fissures and faults in the earth as it sinks. When we pray “Give us our daily bread!” help us to connect to the land, the water and people – the millions who are starving across Somalia, Yemen, Haiti, Zambia, Sudan, Chad, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Timor-Leste.
Once again, in the US and many parts of the world we have overused the land and are reminded of the nature of the ground that receives the seed as in Christ’s the Parable of the Sower. May we understand we have choices. When we read of the “living water” that Christ offers us, remind us that it also means stewardship of what comes from the faucet (tap), providing water for the thirsty – the land is thirsty. Your people are thirsty.
We hold in prayer the peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea. We lament the war already lasting over two years, the accompanying scourge of famine, displacement and violence against women. We lament the extrajudicial killings, the unimaginable 600,000 deaths due to starvation and utter poverty that are reported by humanitarian agencies. We recall that ‘a scourge’ is also a whip, a whip to dominate and scorn. Lord have mercy. Sustain the faltering health care systems in these and other countries where bullets are favored over life giving acts. Awaken us from our violent ways.
Lord of the Multitudes, we lament years, decades and a seeming eternity for those grieving and fighting for truth over the lost ones, the missing, the murdered and the dismembered, the long dead, their remains found in mine shafts, scattered in hidden places in Chile as families and the government breakdown the barriers of military sequestering of documents, and places of torture under the Pinochet dictatorship. Lord have mercy on these injustices that have still to be redressed, in some ways cannot be redressed by humans, but endured. Comfort us.
The earth is singing!
You are singing!
Help us to find our way from this shadowy, seemingly calamitous world of our making.
Forgive us our short-sightedness, our wilfulness.
Help us to confront our greed.
Remind us that the shroud of ignorance suffocates all of us, that the dismissiveness of issues that are calling out to us moment by moment squanders not only the mind and body, but the spirit.
Replace our hopelessness with compassion.
Restore truth and respect to our words and actions.
Remind us of our students, teachers, scientists and journalists, the earnest hearts and minds that quest and thirst, that stand on the earth calling to one another “Hey there!” “I see you!” “Come, read.” “Tell me what you think!” “Hear my story!”
Rekindle the ‘hearth of the world’ breathing upon its embers. Hear our voices of wisdom and prudence, confidence and courage and shared resolve.
Bless the humanitarians, the comforters and the peacemakers.