Tuesday of Lent 5, April 9, 2019
“Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins. His mercy endures for ever.”
For our waste and pollution of your creation,
and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
Accept our repentance, Lord.
The creation stories tell us that God has created us to serve as stewards of creation. In Genesis 1:26, God creates humankind in the divine image and then gives humankind ‘dominion’ over the earth. The word that we translate as dominion has the same root in Hebrew as husband. What God granted us was husbandry over the earth. God gives us the seeds of seed-bearing plants, the fruits of the trees, and later in Genesis, the flesh of animals for our food. We are co-creators with God. When we put bread and wine on the altar for eucharist, we do not put grain and grapes – the raw gifts of God – but bread and wine, the results of our care and use of God’s creation, on the altar. We ask God to bless that bread and wine as revelatory of the divine life. When we misuse creation, we can only ask God to bless our bread and wine with a pledge to repent and work toward a more just and creation–caring economy. The whole created order, under our care, and with God’s blessing, reveals the image of God.
The growing pollution of our world is an urgent problem, and it can seem that there is little that one person can do, but if, for example, everyone stopped using plastic bags, corporations would have to follow our lead. Think about where your food comes from. Can you change the sourcing of even some of your food toward sustainable habits? Have we accepted our society’s definition of our worth in terms of stuff?
What would it mean to see ourselves in the image of God, rather than as society judges us?
O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(19. For Rogation Days III. For Stewardship of Creation, BCP 259)