Lord, who controls my life?

The Sun that wakes me in the morning, 

or the dark that lets me sleep at night?

The seasons that provide times for growing and harvesting, 

food to eat and food to store?

The cycle of the years that moves me from infant vulnerability 

to mature accountability – and back?

Shop windows, supermarket displays and the internet browser 

that urge me to ‘Buy! Buy! Buy!’?

Businesses who use my money to fund their profits 

yet cheat on wages and despoil the earth?

Financiers who see only the £ sign 

and neither the beauty nor the poverty of the world?

Governments who make the rules they then bend, 

who promise a future they won’t deliver?

Is it me – sometimes misguided, sometimes mistaken – 

with the choices I can make?

Or could it be you Lord God, 

if I would trust, if I would open my heart to you?

If …

Soil Plant Hands Growth Environment Nature Dirt

If we are called us to beat swords into plough shares,  

we are also called to turn military jobs into green ones.

If we seek to establish peace,

we must generously offer both love and practical gifts. 

If we shift from passive to active travel, from cars to cycles,

we shall need cycle paths and secure shelters.

If we replace petrol engines with electric motors, 

we must also turn petrol stations into recharging points.

If we swop meats for a vegan diet, 

we must also turn beef farms into arable farms,

sheep fells into woodlands,

dairies into nut fromageries.

If we switch to green electricity,

our pension funds must invest in renewable energy.

If we green our pensions, 

surely we will green our banks too.

Creator God, help us to see the changes we must make,

Give us the wisdom to support them, 

the energy to achieve them 

and the joy to celebrate them.

Amen.

Stop the World!

Stop the world!  

I want to get off!

I can’t cope with climate anxiety, 

with the knowledge that we are still 

polluting the atmosphere with CO2.

Stop the world!

I want to get off!

I can’t cope with the politics

that we continue to ignore –

that let the rich grow richer & the poor poorer.

Stop the world!

I want to get off!

I can’t cope with the cycle of hate and war,

with our conviction that being tough 

will bring peace and reconciliation. 

Stop the world!

I want to get off!

I can’t cope with the pursuit of profit 

that says ‘I’m worth it’

 whilst resolutely destroying our world.

Stop the world!

I want to get off!

I can’t cope with myopia 

that can’t see the spread of global suffering 

because we are safe in our wealth.

Eternal God,

Give me some hope to aim for, 

courage to continue,

and peace to regain strength.

Amen.

Hallowed be your Name

NB hallow is an older word that means holy. 

Tree canopy, near Skipton


Amongst the woods and forests,

between oaks and cedars,

God’s name is holy.

In the seas and oceans,

with whales and sea urchins,

God’s name is holy.

Across the moors and meadows,

with curlews and plovers,

God’s name is holy.

By riverbanks and streams,

following eels and kingfishers,

God’s name is holy .

High up on mountain peaks and glaciers,

sheltering in cwms and gullies,

God’s name is holy .

Gathered in barns and hives,

buzzing with bees and bats,

God’s name is holy .

Hidden under stones and snuck into crevices,

lying low with lizards and spiders,

God’s name is holy .

In all corners of the world

and where ever life exists,

God’s name is holy!

Amen

Questioning our smallness

Loving God, we strive to follow your ways of righteousness and justice in the world.

Yet we feel small and inept, and lay before you our dilemma.

Will you stand by if humanity continues to ignore your ways, following a path instead that leads to self destruction?

Will you stand by if 5000 choose not to follow the crowd? For the sake of the few, will you protect us all from self destruction?

Lord have mercy.

But loving God, Will you stand by if only 500 choose not to follow the crowd? For the sake of the few, will you protect us all from self destruction?

Lord have mercy.

But loving God, Will you stand by if only 50 choose not to follow the crowd? For the sake of the few, will you protect us all from self destruction?

Lord have mercy.

Loving God, strengthen our resolve to do what is right, to stand up for the marginalised, to safeguard creation and protect life, even when we feel small and ineffective. 

Give us the confidence to share our concerns and our hopes for the planet, so that we can encourage and welcome others to follow the path of righteousness and justice.

Amen.

We shall not comply

When advertisers exhort us to drive ever larger fast cars –

We shall not comply.

When fashion houses entreat us to buy clothes for the beach and more for barbecue, clothes for lounging and more for reclining – 

We shall not comply.

When top chefs urge us to buy tropical fruits and exotic grains, to eat strawberries in January and avocados in September –

We shall not comply.

When your companies tout trips to the Tropics, all flights included, 
or city breaks by air –

We shall not comply.

When weekend magazines promote this season’s new colour schemes wall paper and furnishing, out with the old and in with the new –

We shall not comply.

When tech industries unveil this year’s new phone, the upgraded tablet and irreparable head sets –

We shall not comply.

When governments tell us  that coal mines are good and ask for our vote –

We shall not comply.

When trend setters define the next must-have accessory and deride what was last season’s in thing – 

We shall not comply.

When politicians tell us national needs are all important and foreigners must wait – 

We shall not comply.

Holy God, 

keep awake in us a true love for the earth, 

its flora and fauna, our brothers and sisters.

Strengthen our resolve to live within our means, 

to act with compassion, and following your will –

We shall COMPLY!

Love and Cherish

Love and cherish not some of the earth but all; 

Not just your back yard, but mine too;

Not just your local wood but the rainforests too;

Not just your home town but the favelas too.

Love and cherish not some creatures but all;

Not just pandas and tigers, but the vulture and bat too;

Not just bees but wasps and spiders too;

Not just elephants but slugs and snails too.

Love and cherish not some landscapes but all;

Not just meadows but peat bogs too;

Not just ancient woodlands but hedgerows too

Not just national parks but grass verges too.

Love and cherish not some people but all;

Not just city bankers but street cleaners too;

Not just business leaders but refugees too;

Not just home owners but travellers too.

For if we do not, we are all diminished.

If we do not we shall all suffer

from droughts and floods,

rising sea levels and declining water supplies,

from infectious diseases and resistant bacteria. 

We are one world, one family,

one eco system, one interdependent 

and interwoven creation. 

God, our creator, redeemer and sustainer,

Bring us to our senses! 

Now!

Far away and near at hand

The floods were far away

Now there near at hand. 

How long before I wet my feet 

and take a stand?


The heat was far away.

Now it’s close to home.

How long before I own the fact 

and finally begin to act?


Hurricanes were tropical.

Now they’re topical.

How long before I feel my guilt 

and understand the world we’ve built? 



Our climate is changing –

Far away and near at hand. 

Holy God, redeem our failings

and strengthen our resolve:

far away and near at hand.

How Long O Lord?

How many heat waves?

How many droughts?

How many floods?

How many lost coast lines?

How many before we admit our error?

Before we recognise the crisis?


How many lost penguins?

How many missing polar bears?

How many extinct butterflies?

How many disappearing swifts?

How many before we admit our error?

Before we recognise the crisis?


How many car journeys?

How many air miles? 

How many beef steaks?

How many tonnes of cement?

How many before we admit our error?

Before we recognise the crisis.


Creator God, we admit our error

and recognise the crises we have caused. 

Grant us the wisdom and determination to make amends:

To change the way we live,

To change the way we see things,

To have care for the future.

Amen.

Now is the Sky Blue

Now is the sky blue!

Now is the verge blowsy 

with lady’s lace and buttercups,

and tousle headed  grasses.

The dog rose in the hedge 

the sheep beyond.

The burbling refrain of the curlew, 

the acrobatic swerve of the swift.

All is now, and now, and now!

But tomorrow, next week, next year? 

Merciful God will they still be there?

Will our apathy, 

our slowness to act, 

our aversion to change 

allowed all this 

to be threatened, 

diminished, and 

evicted from life?

Have mercy.

But not just mercy –

rather prod us, prompt us, 

push us into action.

Renew our hearts and minds,

reverse our expectations

so that we change the future 

and once more 

be restorers of creation.

Amen. 

Canal towpath, Gargr