Friday 25th March
Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked… They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. Psalm 1:1a,3
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 35:1-7
The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God. Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come, will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay, grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
Each Friday during Lent we will focus on a different continent; this week Africa.
Africa is sometimes nicknamed the “Mother Continent” due to its being the oldest inhabited continent on Earth. Humans and human ancestors have lived in Africa for more than 5 million years. Africa has eight major physical regions: the Sahara, the Sahel, the Ethiopian Highlands, the savanna, the Swahili Coast, the rain forest, the African Great Lakes, and Southern Africa. Some of these regions cover large bands of the continent, such as the Sahara and Sahel, while others are isolated areas, such as the Ethiopian Highlands and the Great Lakes. Each of these regions has unique animal and plant communities. Equally diverse are the many ethnic groups and tribes – running into thousands – that each have their own culture, language, religion and heritage.
Glory to God
Creator of rivers and deserts:
We praise you for the Nile, and the fertility it brings,
We praise you for the Sahara and the ingenuity of plants and animals
that bring their own richness of life.
Glory to God,
Creator of mountains and valleys:
We praise you for the Ethiopian Highlands and the depths of the Rift Valley, for the snowy peak of Kilimanjaro and for the grandeur of the Victoria Falls – Mosi-oa-Tunya “ The Smoke That Thunders”
Glory to God,
Creator of grasslands and savannahs:
We praise you for the animals of the plains – antelope and elephant, wildebeest and lion;
We praise you for the baobab tree, the acacia and the humble thorn tree.
Glory to God,
Creator of flora and fauna:
We praise you for the 20,000 plants species of the Southern Cape;
We praise you for the diversity of Africa’s wildlife
and marvel at the tenacity of the 150 species of migrating birds.
Creator of human kind,
Forgive us for the destruction of Africa’s rainforest, 4% lost annually.
Forgive our greed that destroys its rich diversity in favour of logging and mining,
and monoculture farming in the pursuit of cut-price coffee and cocoa.
Creator of our brothers and sisters:
Forgive the casualness with which we ignore their plight when faced with war and conflict,
their poverty when corporate greed takes away their livelihoods
and their hunger when climate change decimates their crops.
Creator of climates and seasons,
Forgive our foolishness that creates both drought and flood.
Forgive our greed that pumps out evermore carbon dioxide
and continues to destroy our carbon sinks.
Source of all wisdom,
Transform our hearts and minds, turn the direction of our hands and feet
so that with alacrity and commitment we will reform our lives
and live only in harmony with your creation.