Gracious and loving God, we come before you this beautiful day with thanks for all that have given us. We are humbled in recognition of a love greater than we can ever comprehend, and we offer you our worship and our praise for a perfect creation and the unending grace which sustains it.
Grant us, we pray, the desire to be good stewards of this planet. Help us to be better caretakers of all you have created and so freely given to sustain us. Help us protect our planet as a precious gift given to all generations. Give us the courage to stand against the greed and short-sightedness of all corporations and governments that seek only to plunder and pillage the earth’s resources.
And as we begin to celebrate this special season of Advent, help us to remember who we are celebrating and why this is such a joyous time of the year. Help us to reflect the love of Christ in all we do, but most especially in our gift giving. Help us to gift all those most in need, and not just our family, friends and loved ones. Let us actively seek to change our consumptive patterns of behavior, putting more emphasis on real and loving relationships rather than material stuff we do not need.
May we be especially aware of our poor and homeless brothers and sisters during this colder season. Help us to do all we are able to provide food and shelter during the coming months to those without the warmth of homes and families. And may we always be striving to correct the injustices that allow such miseries to exist in a perfectly created world.
Thank you, Lord for this season now upon us. Help us to prepare our hearts to once again welcome your birth.
The earth was established to be in common for all, rich and poor….Nature makes no distinctions among us at our birth, and none at our death. All alike she creates us, all alike she seals us in the tomb. Who can tell the dead apart? Open up the graves, and, if you can, tell which was a rich man. – Saint Ambrose
Saint Ambrose is right, isn’t he? Our planet is home to all of us. All of us are born, live our lives and then die. In the end our socio-economic status makes absolutely no difference.
The shame is that during our brief sojourn on this blessed sphere we do our best to magnify every possible distinction between us. It’s a shame because we are all one family.
Instead of loving each other as we have been loved, we all “have to have someone we can look down on” as the saying goes. We have completely lost sight of the fact we are all connected. And I am not just talking about our social, economic and ethnic distinctions. We have forgotten that all of humanity is one and every single one of us is integrally connected to this wonderful planet.
Everything is connected, and all of us are part of an exquisite interwoven whole that is earth. How sad it is that we no longer understand that. We allow and take part in destruction of each other and our environment with absolutely no conscious thought.
That’s a damned shame. Rich or poor, what does it matter?
Today is yet another perfect day that You have made for us. Thank you for such a glorious creation. Help us take the time to properly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us and the perfection of the world You have formed.
Forgive us for the brazen contempt with which we treat such magnificence and splendor. Forgive us for our lack of caring and our refusal to be good stewards of this gift that sustains the entire human family. Forgive us for our willful wastefulness. Open our eyes that we might see the world as a home that we are wantonly destroying.
Grant us the grace necessary to pull our family together. Help us treat one another with the same love and respect we all seek and deserve. Allow us to fully comprehend that we are all connected, that all creation is one.
And then empower us to start cleaning house. Let each of us do whatever is in our power to make our perfect planet a place of sublime beauty, free of all the ugly and far too visible signs of misuse and lacking of caring. Help each of us walk far more gently and grant us the grace to treat our planet with the respect and reverence such a gift deserves. Amen
“The problems we face today, violent conflicts, destruction of nature, poverty, hunger and so on, are human-created problems which can be resolved through human effort, understanding and the development of a sense of brotherhood and sisterhood. We need to cultivate a universal responsibility for one another and the planet we share.” – 14th Dalai Lama
Every major faith tradition agrees that we are one human family. And every major faith tradition understands the necessity of treating each other as we would want to be treated. There’s a lot to be said for just living by the “Golden Rule.”
The Dalai Lama is right. Once we can come to the place where we realize our deep connectedness to one another and the earth that sustains us, we will have taken a giant leap toward healing the brokenness of the world in which we live.