Sunday, April 22, 2012

Caring for Wondrous Creation

When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.
David W. Orr, American environmentalist

Happy Earth Day! The power and beauty of creation shines through the stained glass windows in our church's south transept. Stopping to ponder the astounding beauty and miracle of creation fills me with awe and a deep sense of calm. A favourite hymn that I learned as a child is "For the Beauty of the Earth". I find myself humming it when walking in the forest or sitting beside a lake. John Rutter, whose musical compositions make my soul sing, has set the words to new music. His anthem is ethereal; particularly when sung by children:



Holy One,
Breath of Creation, stir in us.
Open our hearts that we may see,
all of creation’s glory.
Open our hearts that we may know,
life is holy.
Open our hearts that we may love
with wonder and awe and reverence.

Creating One
We understand that we live within creation,
all woven together by the sacred breath of life.
We confess the times we have chosen to forget;
we name to you our careless greed
when habitat has been denied,
when invasive species have been introduced,
when thoughtless destruction has been allowed,
even encouraged.

We name to you the flight of bob-o-links,
the thump of bullfrogs,
the discreet beauty of the painted turtle,
the majesty of elm trees,
the upright strength of the ash,
—all of your creation that is diminished and threatened
by our disinterest, by our complacent greed.

Forgive us.

Help us to discover the second chance
of a growing awareness,
a deepened understanding,
an active love.

May we live wisely, with reverence for Creation.
May we live gently on this earth,
giving room,
sharing space,
providing for all.

We celebrate the steps taken to redeem this earth,
the tall grass prairie replanted,
the wild turkeys returned,
groves of trees re-established.

Bless us as we better love your creation.

To you we give our praise and thanksgiving
for all that delights,
for all that teaches,
for all that is wondrous,
for all of creation.
Thank you.

Pat Milliken, from "What is Creation Saying to Us?"

2 comments:

Augusto Ariente said...

Hi. I'm Mark and when I saw your post a picture call me the attention: the Creation's stained glass. I did some searches but I didn't get more images like it. Do you know where I can see this stained glass? Thanks and Peace!

Shari said...

Dear Mark,
Thank you for your comment. I do not know of other colour images, but you can read a history of the windows here:

http://www.melroseunited.ca/med/document/the_windows_of_melrose_united_church-1-8-6.pdf