I Greet you in the Name of Christ Jesus,
Even as I am writing this blog, the staff and leadership of this parish church are engaged in a bold experiment. We are inviting the nation to join us in an hour of prayer seeking God's direct intervention into the environmental crisis along our gulf coast. By press time today we will have been in touch with everyone from the White House to your child's Facebook and your neighbor's Twitter account.
We are asking people to join us in prayer that God will intervene and clean up our mess. In fact, it is worse than that, isn't it? God created this beautiful planet, entrusted it to our care, and then we molest it, mistreat it, abuse it, indeed rape it - and then have the audacity to call upon God to restore and redeem it. We are not merely petulent children - we are wildly, deeply, profoundly disrespectful and ungrateful.
I find it interesting that people want to demonized British Petroleum - yet we have by the millions, including me, been pulling up to either their gas pumps or someone elses' to fill our tanks, suspending the reality that every gallon we pump into the tank had to be artificially extracted from someplace on this fragile planet. It was any particular company by accident of time and place, but sooner or later one had to anticipate that if we are going to violate the earth - seeking its very core - bad things had to happen. The blame game is a zero sum game - it allows us to pretend that we are not complicit - that somehow God's broken heart is not our responsibility, too.
So...a week from today (June 17th) we are going to gather here in prayer - one parish church- and we are going to thank God for this glorious planet he has entrusted to us. By that time we will have invited tens of thousands of people of faith to join us - wherever they may be.
In particular, in this time of prayer we are calling VIGILance 2010 (see the link on our home page), we are going to give thanks for soil and air and water. And then...from deep places in our hearts we are going to confess our part in the abuse of His plant and we will ask God to forgive us. It is God's very nature to forgive - indeed it is God's deep and Holy longing. It is time that we confess our need for that forgiveness. That forgiveness comes, I remind us - after a sincere desire to amend our lives; in this case to change how we approach God's earth. And then we will share in a Covenant with Creation, a way to promise that we will be faithful in our care of God's earth.
And yes, we will ask God to once again clean up our mess and we can do so with confidence - because that is simply what God does. Amen.