Prayers for Creation

2nd December 2022 

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.

He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,

Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6 

In Scandinavia a sheaf of wheat or other grains is saved and put out at Christmas for the birds. If lots of birds come, it is said to presage a good harvest. Maybe it is a reminder that generosity is frequently reciprocal. 

A reading from Deuteronomy 24:10-21

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive tree, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. “When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. 

As we prepare for Christmas amidst a rush to buy all that we want and more, let us pray for those from whose labour we gain:

We pray for shop staff and shelf stackers, warehouse workers and delivery drivers:

May their work be rewarding and well rewarded.

We pray for factory hands and machinists, for assemblers and packers:

May their labour be rewarded, their safety ensured.

We pray for farmers and growers, labourers and pickers:

May the fruits of their work be savoured and not be wasted.

We pray for the soil and the water table:

May what is extracted be replaced, may their good health be sustained.

We pray for agricultural live stock – birds, animals and fish:

May they be raised with love and respect, and at their life’s end with dignity and care.

May we as consumers, always show out thanks and respect for the work of others.

May we be measured in what we buy, 

may we be conscientious in caring for what we have, 

and may we be generous in passing forward all that we can share. 

Amen.

Go forth into the world in peace.

Be of good courage.

Hold fast that which is good.

Render to no one evil for evil.

Strengthen the fainthearted.

Support the weak.

Help the afflicted.

Show love to everyone.

Love and serve the Lord,

rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit;

and may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be with us all. Amen.

From the Book of Common Prayer 

Green Tau reflection

15th October 2022

The ways of protest.

Last week I took part in the Earth Vigil outside Parliament. Participants sit on the pavement, backs against the wall that surrounds the building, and between 11 and 3pm a prayerful presence is maintained holding the needs of creation before God.

When we arrived a young police constable asked what we were doing. 

“Praying for the earth”  

“Well if you need anything …” he replied. 

We take up our places and quietly began to pray as tourists and workers and parties of school children walked by – a back and forth, crisis-crossing flood of human life. ‘Lord help us change our lifestyle and our priorities and safeguard the next generation.’ Abruptly the murmur of urban life is broken by loud, upbeat music (via an amplifier) whilst a commentary is loud-hailered by a one man protest group, hurling abuse at the Tory party. 

Restore focus once more on our silent prayer. Behind the many legs of the passersby, waves of traffic slide past by as traffic lights regulate their flow. Buses in twos and threes, black cabs swinging round tight curves, delivery vans and construction trucks, SUVs that are certainly not for utility and bikes which are! ‘Lord help us shape a better future, a better use of people’s skills and resources; a cleaner, kinder world.’ From the opposite side of the square another amplifier sets off in competition with the first. The music is more classical in tone. These protestors are women speaking out against the oppression of their comrades in Iran. They are wrapped in flags. 

Refocus, centre down, pray. A trickle of people come and go through the chicane that gives access to Parliament, inside whose doors policy is worked on, debated, argued, and often fudged.  ‘Lord help change the systems that shape our economy. So often they damage the lives of ordinary people and the health of the environment – bring wisdom and humility to the hearts of minds of those in power.’ A kerfuffle in the middle of the road – police are rushing forwards – has someone fallen over? No not fallen down but sat down. Not one but a dozen or more sat or lying in the road, odd hands glued down, other hands grasping ‘Insulate Britain’ banners. 

The frenzy of the moment is heart stopping. Brave? Vulnerable? Safe? The faces look confident. Now the road swarms with police and journalists – where did they all come from? More activists and members of the public add to the melee. Traffic grinds to a halt. It takes a while for the police to restart the traffic, directing them along the unoccupied traffic lane – a rogue motorcyclist tries to take an alternative route and is reprimanded.

A degree of order returns. Traffic moves in waves controlled by the lights.

Pedestrians continue to cross-cross the pavement, now and then stopping to take photos. Tourists add pictures of both the Houses of Parliament and the freedom to protest to their phones. More police vans, more police officers arrive and a slow process of note taking and questioning, surveying and evidence collecting starts. ‘Lord be with those who risk their comfort to stand up for the cause of justice. Be with those in other parts of the world who risk their lives in this cause. Challenge our churches to recognise what is happening and what needs to happen.’

A quick reconnoitre confirms we know some of the glued on protestors. Both they and the women of Iran are held in prayer. ‘Lord surround them with your protection that they may know they are loved. May their endeavours for justice be fruitful.’

Person by person the road protest is slowly – almost tediously – dismantled as the protestors are conveyed to the back of police vans and driven away. The media presence holds strong filming and interviewing the protestor in the road – they have certainly caught the attention of the press. And the public too. Passers by continue to stand and stare and take photos – what will they say when they get home or when they share these images on social media? Will their sensibilities about the current crisis of climate and justice have been raised? Only 2 or 3 shout abuse or remonstrate with the protestors.

Pray, think, reflect. ‘Lord transform the hearts and minds of all who pass by today. Fill them with compassion and a desire for justice. Safeguard the earth that it be not destroyed by our folly.’

And tomorrow and next week and next month …. the protests will go on for we need justice in our world and there are many willing to demand it. ‘Lord have mercy.’

About the Green Tau

The Green Tau blog comes from my love of life, of the natural world and of those human endeavours which are kind and generous. This love itself stems from my Christian faith which prioritises living life well and seeks to establish heaven on earth so all may live life to the full.

I want to use this blog to reach out to people, to inform them about the facts and the dangers of climate change, to point to changes we can make, and ways in which we can change the behaviour of businesses and governments,  to minimise the adverse affects of climate change and at the same time achieve fair and sustainable lifestyles that benefit everyone. 

In the short term the Green Tau blog will focus on COP26 climate conference, why it’s important and what it can achieve.

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