O gracious and and merciful Father, You have graced us with another beautiful day. Thank you for such a precious gift.
Help us truly live alive during this day. Help us see the awesome work of creation with fresh eyes. Help us walk with both wonder and reverence on this planet you created so perfectly.
And help us come to the realization that we have both the power and the responsibility to care for all the beauty with which we are surrounded. Convict us of our wanton misuse of all that we have been given, and empower us afresh to become true caretakers of our world.
Let our love for you overwhelm our greed and need to consume. And let our faithfulness shine forth in the actions we take to demonstrate our reverence for all you have provided to sustain us.
“Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord, by applying it to any other purpose?”
― John Wesley
The founder of Methodism was plain spoken. No one ever was confused about where Wesley stood on an issue. And from his earliest ministry Wesley stood alongside those whom Jesus identified as the “least of these,” the poor, the hungry, the widow and orphan, the stranger, the one in prison.
And John Wesley never shied away from talking about money, either. These words, first uttered in the 18th century, need to be taken to heart by all of us who call ourselves Christians today.
Our stewardship of the bountiful resources entrusted to us is critical to the depth of our discipleship. The acquisition and hording of great wealth is morally indefensible. Hording more, spending more for other than necessities in a world where 25,000 of our family die every day from hunger can not be justified.
Wesley is right. How dare we defraud our Lord by applying His gifts for any other purpose than feed those who are starving?
I have been trying to live more responsibly for almost 40 years. I have not been as successful in that quest as I would like. Yet, I know it’s a task to which we all need to more fully committed.
Our planet has a finite amount of resources. As a person of faith I need to be a good steward of those resources. That means using less of those resources whenever possible, always being less wasteful, and recognizing that our world is home to far more folks than those here in my country. That means I need to share what I so often take for granted.
A large part of my struggle to live more simply comes from being immersed in a society that seems to live to consume, rather than consume to live. Capitalism, Consumerism, and Wastefulness has become our new trinity.
The words of E.F. Shumacher come to mind. Our current lifestyle of over-consumption and wastefulness is not only a peril to the peace of the world; it’s a peril to the survival of the world.
Name a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation of man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations; as long as you have not shown it to be “uneconomic” you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow and prosper.
Most gracious and loving Creator, how thankful we are this day for all your blessings. We confess that far too often we live in a way that doesn’t demonstrate our gratitude for your goodness and your mercy. We are not as good stewards of your perfectly created world as we would like to be. We are wasteful of the gifts you have given us and take the beauty that surrounds us for granted. Forgive us.
Help us to be better stewards of all you have entrusted into our care. Grant us the insight to understand how closely we are connected to each other and all living things, and then grant us the wisdom and the grace necessary to live accordingly. Help us to walk more lightly on the earth that sustains us, and help us to share the abundant resources to have given us with all those most in need. And in all our endeavors, both great and small, grant that all we do brings you both glory and praise. Amen
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.
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