Week 3: Lament
Scripture: Jeremiah 9:10-14
Take up weeping and wailing for the mountains,
and a lamentation for the pastures of the wilderness,
because they are laid waste so that no one passes through,
and the lowing of cattle is not heard;
both the birds of the air and the animals
have fled and are gone.
I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
a lair of jackals;
and I will make the towns of Judah a desolation
Who is wise enough to understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, so that they may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, or walked in accordance with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.
Poetry: Bless our Lament
by John Pohill in A Heart for Creation, ed. Chris Pohill
bless the tear we shed
for the resources that we have squandered.
Bless the sigh we breathe out
for the spoilt air and atmosphere.
Bless the head we hang
for the creatures lost and exploited.
Bless the hands we wring
for the things we have broken and wasted.
Bless us as we lament
Cradle us as we regret.
Restore us as we start afresh.
Reading: Climate Change: Vulnerability, Lament and Promise
by Barbara Rossing
Spiritual Practice: Pray daily prayers of lament to God. Hold before the Creator specific places, creatures, elements, peoples that are threatened by environmental degradation.
Week 2: Listen
Scripture: Psalm 19:1-4
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
Poetry: Silver Whispers
by Marnie Barrell, in A Heart for Creation, ed. Chris Polhill
the universe is singing.
Silver whispers from star to star,
the roar of the golden sun,
the blue Earth’s dance in the darkness.
the great drum, the solemn sea
pulsing under the moon,
the heartbeat of the sleeping land,
the crackle and snap of air.
the living creatures are singing;
each little life lifts its voice,
sings, swells, stutters to a stop,
passes its song to children’s children.
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 bounty of it!
Sing creation’s song to the Creator!
Reading: Listening to creation as a part of environmental stewardship
by Lynn Baab
Spiritual Practice: In the outdoors, pause daily or walk in silence. Listen to the earth and to the Creator. What do you hear?
Lent often includes a spiritual practice. For a deepening spirit this season, turn your thoughts and prayers to creation: with gratitude for the life we receive from the earth, and with mindfulness of the urgent need to be God's stewards of creation
Week 1: Wonder
This week, be in awe of the miracle of soil. Bert Siemens describes soil in this way:
Soil supports life. Soil is a mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids and living organisms that combines to supports life. Soil is a medium for plant growth, a supply of water and water purification, a storage of carbon and a modifier of atmospheric conditions. Soil contains organisms, which includes but not restricted to bacteria, fungi, earthworms, insects, reptiles and burrowing mammals and birds.
Scripture: Psalm 65:9-13
God, you care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.
beneath the ice and snow lies
dormant now, waiting
for light and warmth
to awaken billions of microbes
teeming through tunnels and passages
in complex beautiful fragile
a mystery a miracle
of life waiting
beneath the ice and snow
Reading: Soil - The Miracle We Take for Granted
by Peter Steinhart
Spiritual Practice: As the weather slowly warms, walk mindfully. Be conscious of the miracle of soil beneath the snow and ice, beneath our feet. Stand in awe. Give thanks to the Creator.