Friday 11th March
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom like the crocus Isaiah 35:1
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.
A Reading: Isaiah 42: 5, 10-12
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise from the end of the earth!
Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
the coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice,
the villages that Kedar inhabits;
let the inhabitants of Sela sing for joy,
let them shout from the tops of the mountains.
Let them give glory to the Lord,
and declare his praise in the coastlands.
Each Friday during Lent we will focus on a different continent; this week Australasia.
The Australasia realm is dominated by the Australian continent and 2 additional subrealms — New Zealand and the Australasian Islands: Papua, Sulawesi, and other Indonesian islands east of the Makassar Strait and south of the Java Sea, as well as the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. Australasia encompassed a diversity of environments from the vast interior deserts of Australia, dry and wet tropical savannahs and rainforests, Mediterranean woodlands, temperate grasslands and alpine uplands. With its seven seas and immense coral reefs, Australasia is one of the most important realms for ocean biodiversity. The Great Barrier Reef, considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders, is the world’s largest coral reef system. https://www.oneearth.org/realms/australasia/
Australasia is already greatly affected by the ongoing climate crisis, with rising land temperatures and an increasing frequency of heat waves and bush fires; rising sea levels and an increasing frequency of heavy rain causing flooding, interspersed with increasing periods of drought. Rising sea levels disproportionately affect small islands nations. Rising temperatures in the oceans are destroying coral reefs.
An extract from ‘Kangaroo’ by D H Lawrence
Delicate mother Kangaroo
Sitting up there rabbit-wise, but huge, plump-weighted,
And lifting her beautiful slender face, oh! so much more
gently and finely lined than a rabbit’s, or than a hare’s,
Lifting her face to nibble at a round white peppermint drop
which she loves, sensitive mother Kangaroo.
Her sensitive, long, pure-bred face.
Her full antipodal eyes, so dark,
So big and quiet and remote, having watched so many
empty dawns in silent Australia.
Her little loose hands, and drooping Victorian shoulders.
And then her great weight below the waist, her vast pale belly,
With a thin young yellow little paw hanging out, and
straggle of a long thin ear, like ribbon,
Like a funny trimming to the middle of her belly, thin
little dangle of an immature paw, and one thin ear.
Her belly, her big haunches
And, in addition, the great muscular python-stretch of her tail.
There, she shan’t have any more peppermint drops.
So she wistfully, sensitively sniffs the air, and then turns,
goes off in slow sad leaps
On the long flat skis of her legs,
Steered and propelled by that steel-strong snake of a tail.
We give thanks for the beauty and diversity of the world you have given us, for its colour and abundance, its richness and vitality. Generous God, hear our prayer.
With sorry we acknowledge our part in damaging what you have created. We acknowledge that our lifestyles have been selfish and careless. We acknowledge that we could and can do more to tend this earth and care for its inhabitants. Merciful God, hear our prayer.
We pray for these who conserve plant and animal wildlife, birds and insects. We pray for the work of agriculturalist and scientists in developing better, kinder ways of living on this earth. We pray for the resilience of small communities that they may live in harmony with their environment. Gracious God, hear our prayer.
We pray for government leaders and advisers, farmers and business leaders, that they will hold dear the needs of the environment and seek to avert the risks imposed by the climate crisis. Enabling God, hear our prayer.