Praying at Home Today: Saturday 18 September 2021
Praying at home today:
The Season of Creation
The gaze of Jesus
For four weeks, following the first Sunday in September until the day before Harvest Sunday, we will be focussing on the season of creation, in preparation for the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow.
Although we will follow our usual form of prayer, our readings and some other material will follow those given in Daily Prayer of the Scottish Episcopal Church for this Season of Creation.
This is a good time to be grateful for our beautiful, yet fragile world, and to dedicate ourselves anew as faithful stewards to its protection.
A warm welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.If this is your first visit to this website, then you might like to read about the common elements and the suggested structure for each day’s prayer. Everything’s optional!
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
O God, you created the heavens and spread out the earth
You gave breath to all people
and spirit to everything which walks on the earth.
The Lord is a great God, and a sovereign above all gods.
In God’s hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are God’s also.
The sea is God’s, for God made it, and God’s hand formed the dry land.
O come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
O Lord, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Domine, Dominus noster,
quam admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra!
quoniam elevata est magnificentia tua super caelos.
Eternel, notre Seigneur,
que ton nom est magnifique sur toute la terre!
Ta majesté domine le ciel.
The Liturgy of the Word
During these four weeks of the Season of Creation, I’m reading Pope Francis’s encyclical letter Laudato si’, mi’ Signore – Praise to you, my Lord (LS) – and I hope to share with you a few nuggets from the Church’s social teaching on Creation and our stewardship of this planet we call our home.
In this second week, he explores what theology (Faith seeking understanding) has to say, with particular reference to the Bible (LS62).
The gaze of Jesus
As a Jewish man in 1st-century Palestine, Jesus was immersed in the Hebrew Scriptures, recognising and emphasising a fundamental truth: God is Father (cf. Matthew 11:25).
And he frequently reminded his disciples of this truth: God has a paternal love with every creature, each important in God’s eyes:
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. (Luke 12:6)
Luke at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (Matthew 6:26)
In constant touch with nature, Jesus was able to invite others to be present to the beauty in the world. Walking through the land, he would often stop to contemplate its beauty.
Lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. (John 4:35)
The kingdom of God is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but once it has grown, it is the greatest of plants. (Matthew 13:31-32)
People observing Jesus were amazed at what they saw:
What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him? (Matthew 8:27)
He was both removed from the ideas of an ascetic removed from the world
The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard!’ (Matthew 11:19)
and of philosophies despising the body, matter and worldly things (even if later Christian thinkers would fall into this trap).
As the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus was someone who loved life. He worked with his hands; most of his life was spent in a way that wasn’t admired by many:
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary? (Mark 6:3)
In so doing, he sanctified human labour, endowing it with a special significance (LS 98).
(Reflecting on this text should cause so-called professionals to rethink any temptation they/we might have to look down on labourers.)
In the Christian understanding of the world, the destiny of all creation is bound up with the mystery of Christ, present from the beginning:
“All things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
Jesus’ creative work is revealed in John’s Gospel as that of the Divine Word (λογος); furthermore, that Logos became flesh (John 1:14).
One Person of the Trinity entered into the created cosmos, throwing in his lot with it, even to the cross.
From the beginning of the world, but particularly through the incarnation, the mystery of Christ is at work in a hidden manner in the natural world as a whole, without impinging on its autonomy.
The New Testament’s account of Jesus isn’t limited to his earthly life, it also explores the post-resurrection events and life of the early Church as it unpacked the understanding of Jesus’ cosmic role.
He is risen and glorious, present throughout creation by his universal Lordship:
“For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:19-20)
Francis assures us that this leads us to direct our gaze to the end of time, when the Son will deliver all things to the Father, so that “God may be everything to every one” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
Everything, therefore is taken up and “imbued with his radiant presence” (LS100).
The Lord, God of hosts, touches the earth and it melts,
and all who live in it mourn.
And all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
The Lord builds upper chambers in the heavens,
and founds vaults upon the earth;
And calls for the waters of the sea,
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth.
Music for reflection
We continue our journey in faith today:
- for all preparing for the COP26 Climate Conference
- for the small steps we take to combat climate change
- for all who inspire us.
(In Holy Trinity, Stirling, we invite you to pray today
for those who clean our Church building.)
For all who have asked for our prayers.
a moment of silence
Pray for us all
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours,
now and for ever.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificetur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père, qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié,
que ton règne vienne,
que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
comme nous pardonnons aussi à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation
mais délivre-nous du Mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
God Most High,
maker of heaven and earth,
you created humankind in your own image
and entrusted the whole world to human care:
give us grace to serve you faithfully,
that we might be trustworthy stewards of your creation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Collect for the Season of Creation
Returning to the world
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
In these strange times, we are called to trust
Other worship resources
- Worship resources from Holy Trinity Church, Stirling, Scotland
- Music for reflection
- RSCM: Hymn for the Day and Sunday Self-Service
- Liturgy resources from New Zealand – Aotearoa
- Prayer live from Taizé
- CCC – Christ, Covid, Community (Facebook Group)
- Live-streamed liturgy from Pluscarden Abbey, Scotland
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are usually from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are usually from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.