Friday 4th February
The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof, the world and all who dwell therein. Psalm 24:1
You Lord, are the source of all good things:
We praise you.
You call us to tend and care for your creation:
May we strive to do your will.
You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives:
May we live together in peace.
When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land shall observe a sabbath for the Lord. For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in their yield; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land, a sabbath for the Lord: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your unpruned vine: it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. You may eat what the land yields during its sabbath—you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound labourers who live with you; for your livestock also, and for the wild animals in your land all its yield shall be for food…The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants. Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land. Leviticus 25:2-7, 23-24
Like carbon to the atmosphere:
We have added to the world’s woes.
Like nutrients from the soil;
We have taken without restoring.
Like heat to the ocean:
We have sown destruction.
All: Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us.
In our forgiving and being forgiven:
Bring in your reign, O God: Let Godly hopes prevail.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen?”:
Merciful God, open our ears to hear your word and our hearts that we may respond with action.
“Loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke.”
May we be not blind to the hardships and inequalities faced by plantation workers and farmers when big businesses hold the balance of power. Rather may we support fair trade both with our lips and our purses.
“Set the oppressed free and break every yoke.”
May we not be ignorant of the oppression of government loans and trade deals. Rather may we campaign for justice and use our voices to challenge those in power.
“Share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter.”
May we be generous in giving aid for those facing starvation and homelessness – those in the UK who are reliant on food banks, those in Ethiopia struggling with drought, those in Madagascar made homeless by storms, and those who sleep on our streets because rents are too high.
“When you see the naked, clothe them; do not to turn away from your own kin.”
May we comprehend that it is not just people, but the land too that can be stripped of protection. May we safeguard all living things that are made vulnerable through our greed.
“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear”.
Restoring God, may we, in our lifetime, see the healing of the environment, the restoration of justice and the renewal of creation’s natural abundance.
Then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
May we learn in our hearts and put to effect in our lives the wisdom you teach us.
Based on Isaiah 58: 6-8