Psalm 25:4 (NRSV)

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.

Devotion

In the prosperous West, many of us lead comfortable lives. We are children of abundance, with many freedoms. War does not touch our shores. And yet, even we lucky ones walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

God’s good green earth, our only home, suffers an increasing fever, as glaciers melt and oceans rise, while a “sixth great extinction”[1] is underway, threatening even the pollinators on which many food crops depend. Warning signs are everywhere.

Meanwhile, public policy is often driven by those who love money more than truth, decency, or compassion, who would spit on the widow and the orphan, the sick and the prisoner, the naked and the hungry. By those whose hearts are untroubled by threatening the lives of our children and grandchildren for generations yet to come. By those who conjure alternative realities and bear false witness, who exploit and deepen divisions among us for private gain.

We are all at risk. Biologist E.O. Wilson says our “Stone Age emotions … and godlike technology” make us “a danger to ourselves and to the rest of life.”[2]

But the kingdom of God is at hand. If it is darkest before the dawn, we cannot be without hope. Hope for turning from mere Mammon toward God. Hope for enlightenment and reconciliation. Hope for a green Renaissance where we can use our godlike technology to walk lightly on the earth, curing its fever. Hope for seeing the path of righteousness and having the courage to follow it.

Prayer

Dear God, touch our minds and hearts and souls, that we might love all of your creation as ourselves. Help us resist the nihilist and the deceiver, who do not delight in truth, but sow distraction and division and denial and doubt. Show us your path[3] and help us discern a way to faithfully follow it, persevering with willing hands and joyful hearts, no matter the magnitude of the tasks you set before us. Let us truly be instruments of your peace, toward all creatures great and small, and toward the good earth, on which we all depend. Amen. 

John Clewett

[1] https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/06/150623-sixth-extinction-kolbert-animals-conservation-science-world

[2] https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/18073401-the-social-conquest-of-earth

[3] https://www.beholdtheearth.com