Wasteland – 23 September 2019

A road wends its way through a scene of desolation. What might first appear to be a war-zone, is actually a post-industrial landscape. Where there was once a forest, now there are just burnt stumps of trees. The sky is red with pollution, the air chocked and un-breathable. Small figures make their way along the road, although there is no destination ahead that we give life to any living creature. Is this a picture of what is, or what will soon be? Is it real or prophetic?

The picture is by Janet Culbertson, artist and eco-feminist. Of her art she says: ‘I feel that artists can play an effective role in reminding the world about pending disasters and still create a work of beauty.‘ She paints using iridescent pigments, collage and oil paint to simulate images of the destruction of our world.

Today, 23 September 2019, the UN Secretary General has called a UN Climate Action Summit in New York. It will bring together leaders from government, business, youth and faith groups to chart an adequate response to the climate emergency facing our planet. This meeting will follow the Climate Strikes led by children, that took place around the world last Friday.

 

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters…”

Psalm 24 (NIV)

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God…”

Romans 8:18-27 (NIV)

A Prayer for Our Earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe
and in the smallest of your creatures.
You embrace with your tenderness all that exists.
Pour out upon us the power of your love,
that we may protect life and beauty.
Fill us with peace, that we may live
as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor,
help us to rescue the abandoned and
forgotten of this earth,
so precious in your eyes.
Bring healing to our lives,
that we may protect the world and not prey on it,
that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those
who look only for gain
at the expense of the poor and the earth.
Teach us to discover the worth of each thing,
to be filled with awe and contemplation,
to recognize that we are profoundly united
with every creature
as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day.
Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle
for justice, love and peace.

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’