Poem: “Praying” by Mary Oliver
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot or a few
small stones: just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
Scripture Genesis 1:20-2:3
20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27 So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
29 God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
Reading: from “The Cosmology of Peace” by Thomas Berry
Hydrogen, in the presence of some millions of degrees of heat, emerged into helium. After the stars take shape as oceans of fire in the heavens, they go through a sequence of transformations. Some eventually explode into the stardust out of which the solar system and the planet earth take shape. Earth gives unique expression of itself in its rock and crystalline structures and in the variety and splendour of living forms, until humans appear at the moment in which the unfolding universe becomes conscious of itself……. We bear the universe in our beings as the universe bears us in its being. The two have a total presence to each other and to that deeper mystery out of which both the universe and ourselves have emerged.
Prayer of Creation:
The Father sang the Word –
a song of tenderness
and inexhaustible mercy.
The Word was sung once
and now re-echoes
through all the worlds,
in the bursting stars, the cosmic dust motes,
in the small things of our planet,
The song hold us together –
gives point and purpose and joy.
The world sings everlasting praise
and we too hymn our thanks.
How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
The heavens declare your glory,
the arch of the sky displays your handiwork.
In your love you have given us
the power to behold the beauty of your world
in all its splendour.
The sun and the stars, the valleys and the hills,
the rivers and the lakes, all disclose your presence.
The roaring breakers of the sea
tell of your awesome might,
the beasts of the field and the birds of the air
proclaim your wondrous will.
In your goodness you have made us able
to hear the music of the world;
a divine song sings through all creation.
You summon us to join the song,
to revel in your creation,
to take our part in renewing, restoring
and recreating our world.
Bless the work of our hands. Amen.
(A Jewish prayer)