Meditation on The Goodness of Creation

Cedar Campus in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the best places to hear the heartbeat of God's creation. Author's photo.
Cedar Campus in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one of the best places to hear the heartbeat of God’s creation. Author’s photo.

I grew up in a wee church in rural Wisconsin, and one of the community grandmother figures to me was Sara Smith.  I know I have a good friend in Sara, because today she sent me a card in the mail and included a little bulletin that she thought I would enjoy.  It’s from the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in St. Paul, and seems like an ordinary worship bulletin.  But I’m amazed at what truth and beauty can be included on an 8.5”x11” piece of paper!  I’ll walk you through each prayer and confession.  Try and allow yourself the space to meditate and soak the words in (you can find the bulletin in its entirety HERE).

Gathering Prayer

Listen…the universe is singing.
Silver whispers from star to star, the roar of the golden sun,
the blue Earth’s dance in the darkness.

Listen…the great drum, the solemn sea pulsing under the moon,
the heartbeat of the sleeping land, the crackle and snap of air.

Listen…the living creatures are singing: each little one lifts its voice,
sings, swells and stutters to a stop, passes its song to children’s children.

Listen..we who have ears to hear, and the gift of speech,
love the song, gather it up and sing it.
Bring words of worship and wonder, sing for the sun and stars,
sing for the earth and all its creatures.
Tell out, shout-the beauty and the bounty of it!
Sing creation’s song to the Creator!

Sometimes I find it so difficult to listen or to see.  Especially when I don’t particularly want to hear or see what might be going on.   But I think Jesus offers us the chance to take a long look at ourselves, at our world, and invite him to show us what he sees.

Confession and Prayers of the People

O God, your fertile earth is slowly being striped of its riches,
open our eyes to see.
O God, your living waters are slowly being choked with chemicals,
open our eyes to see.
O God, your clear air is slowly being filled with pollutants,
open our eyes to see.
O God, your creatures are slowly dying and your people are suffering,
open our eyes to see.
God our maker, so move us by the wonder of creation,
that we repent and care more deeply.
So move us to grieve the loss of life,
That we learn to cherish and protect your world.
In your mercy…God hear our prayer.

I’m in awe of the Lord’s grace that we can request such a thing–we can ask God to show us the truth.  And then we can work faithfully alongside him to do something about it.

Blessing

God of the tides, whose faithful rhythm underlies our daily lives, help us to keep on with courage and caring–both when we are full and fulfilled and in times of ebb and emptiness–grow and spring tides in our lives…within the ocean of your love.  Amen.

I love the idea of an anthem for going out into the world every day.  This one, the “Going Forth Song,” is sweet and simple.

Going Forth Song

May the road rise with you, may the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall softly on your fields
Until we meet again may you be held in the hollow of God’s hand.

I’ll go out on a limb and suggest that you print off your favorite section and put it on your mirror, or in your Bible–somewhere you’ll see it again and have another chance to meditate on the wonder of God and our role in singing creation’s song of praise to Him.  Or, you can scroll up to the top and read this again!