Friday 22nd July 2022
And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat. Genesis 2:9
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 based on an idea by Jesus as recorded in Luke’s gospel.
There once was a sojourner who going about their daily business, was beset by disaster upon disaster: floods and drought, heatwaves and colds snaps, hunger and thirst. Politicians, as they passed, turned to look the other way. Church leaders buried their noses in their prayer books. The wealthy found money a quick way out.
Yet in the midst of it all, were the trees. They kept on breathing in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen; they even helped clean the air of pollutants. They collected rain with leaves to slow its fall, and collected more between their roots, reducing the risk of flooding. Their leaves provided shade and as they released moisture, so they cooled the air. They caught energy from the sun and turned it into useful materials, food and even medicines. They welcomed other visitors, fauna and flora. They offered green spaces that calmed the anxious and the weary.
Who was the good neighbour to the sojourner?
we have not loved our neighbours as ourselves.
We have ignored the plight of others.
We have not stood in solidarity with those who need help.
Rather we have spurned those who are our neighbours.
We have cut them down in their prime.
We have cut away at their roots
and have poisoned their lifeblood.
Heal us and have mercy.
A reading Leviticus 23:39-41 (The Message)
On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have brought your crops in from your fields, celebrate the Feast of God for seven days. The first day is a complete rest and the eighth day is a complete rest. On the first day, pick the best fruit from the best trees; take fronds of palm trees and branches of leafy trees and from willows by the brook and celebrate in the presence of your God for seven days—yes, for seven full days celebrate it as a festival to God. Every year from now on, celebrate it in the seventh month.
God of the oak and the tamarisk, we praise you.
God of the palm tree and the olive, we praise you.
God of the fig tree and the vine, we praise you.
God of the cedar and the myrtle, we praise you.
For the wonder and beauty of trees, we praise you.
For leaves and shade, for seeds and fruit, we praise you.
For rootedness and stability, we praise you.
For maturity and heritage, we praise you.
For carbon absorbed and oxygen released, we praise you.
For community and interconnectedness, we praise you.
God of wisdom,
teach us to understand and value
the world you have created.
Teach us to recognise that what you create is one family,
that all its people, its plants and creatures,
are our brothers and sisters.
Teach us to love them as our neighbours,
and give us the grace
to receive the love they bestow on us.
The Lord’s Prayer