Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Praying Together In The (For Now, Metaphorical) Fiery Furnace

 For us as a human family and for the plants, animals and ecosystems and climate which we received as a gift from the Creator when He placed us as stewards on this beautiful world we call home, we are facing an unprecedented crisis: global warming and the consequent climate change.

 NASA scientists just a few days ago reported that this year, 2016, was the hottest year in the past millenium, and temperatures will continue to rise, even if we repent in time and end our reliance on fossil fuels.

Thursday, September 1st is World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, originally an initiative of Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the Orthodox Church.  Pope Francis last year invited Catholics and other religious believers and people of good will to join Orthodox Christians in praying each year for our world and the environment that is our common home.

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace propose this introduction for the Holy Hour for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation:
"Despite our sins
and the daunting challenges before us,
we never lose heart.
“The Creator does not abandon us;
he never forsakes his loving plan
or repents of having created us…
for he has united himself definitively to our earth,
and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward.”*                            
Let us pray today, and indeed throughout the year,
for the grace to show mercy to our common home."  

Prayer may seem inconsequential in the face of a threat of truly biblical proportions, but then again, prayer is always the biblical response when faced with catastrophe.  It is easy to forget that the beautiful canticle calling on all creation to praise God was sung by the three youths in the fiery furnace. (Daniel 3:57-88)

So in the fiery furnace of our own era (and our own making, unfortunately), let us pray!

On September 1st in Juneau, there will be two prayer events:
-- Holy Hour with Benediction  5:30pm-6:30pm at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
-- Interfaith Prayer Service, 7:00pm-8:00pm at Northern Light United Church, sponsored by Alaska Interfaith Power and Light.

Everyone is invited, everyone is welcome, at both events.

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