Tomorrow is Good Friday. It is also Earth Day and each time I hear about another natural disaster that is impacting our world I sense how much we need that convergence. Christ did not just die for us but all created life and for our planet too. The imagery of resurrection is not of disembodied souls but of whole persons resurrected to live together in a restored creation.
I could not help but think of that as I wrote this earth day/good friday prayer this morning. Let us remember this as we celebrate the final events of Christ life and live into the hope of his resurrection. It is written with the scriptures intended to be read responsively. However it could also be read with different designated readers for the scriptures and the prayers in between read together.
God all of created life is groaning waiting for the future God has prepared for us,
We hope for the day on which all you have made will be rescued from death and decay,
We wait for the redemption of our bodies and the restoration of our world.
In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited – yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!
It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience. (Romans 8:18 – 25 (Phillips Translation)
God in this season of hope and promise bless the earth rich and fertile with life
God in this season of planting and growth, bless the seed we plant and nurture
As it falls into the ground to grow may we remember your body broken for us
Unless a seed is planted in the soil and dies it remains alone
But its death will produce many new seeds,
a plentiful harvest of new lives (Jn 12:24 NLT)
God as we sprinkle our gardens with the water that gives life,
May we remember lands that are parched and those that are flooded
May we remember Christ that your life blood was poured out for us,
You were hung upon a tree and crucified
So that together with all your creation we might be liberated into freedom
Open up O heavens and pour out your righteousness
Let the earth open wide
So salvation and righteousness can sprout up together (Is 45:8 NLT)
As we watch for the first sprouts of new creation
We remember your resurrection promise,
A new world is breaking into ours with abundance and wholeness
Look I am making all things new…
On each side of the river grew a tree of life
Bearing twelve crops of fruit with a fresh crop each month
The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations (Rev 21:5; 22:2 NLT)
Christ we wait for your resurrection life to be seen in its fullness
May your healing be revealed in our bodies
May your healing power be seen throughout the earth
May we all participate together in the coming of a new heaven and a new earth