Gracious God, Creator of all that is, we give thanks and praise to you for all you have brought into being: the earth, sun, moon, stars, and the universe so vast we measure it light years. Your works are beyond our full comprehension. We stand in awe of your majesty and power.

On this 50th anniversary of Earth Day we give thanks for the earth our home. We give thanks for the beauty and mystery of the earth, its land, water and air on which all life depends.

On the first Earth Day celebration, and even long before, the earth was showing signs of abuse and destruction. Many vowed to do better and yet, as a whole, we have squandered many of the past fifty years living in denial and destruction. Through insatiable wants, and our blindness to the basic needs of others, we polluted the air, water, sea and land, thus making the earth, our home, less and less able to sustain life.

We are as foolish as any who have gone before, and yet in the aggregate our ability to destroy is far greater than those in the centuries before us. Now a day of apocalyptic reckoning draws near.

Almighty God, Creator of all that is, we confess our foolishness, our hubris, our denial, our vain pride and life destroying practices. Forgive us. Through the power of your Spirit awaken in us the goodness you have placed in us.

Though, in many ways, we have abandoned you and your will, do not abandon us, we pray. In these times we need you ever more. We pray for the well being of the earth and all that is on it. Fill us with a Holy Wisdom, even at this late hour, so that through worship, faithful living and work we will live in harmony with you and the earth.

We pray that this 50th Celebration of Earth Day be a turning point so that those who come after us can look back and say: “They turned to the Lord and acted in loving care for the earth. Therefore, we and our children are here today.”

Let that be our legacy! Amen.

About Rev. Larry Deyss, HR

Larry Deyss is Pastor Emeritus of the Delmar Presbyterian Church where he served for 30 years, a past moderator of Albany Presbytery and currently a member of the Peacemaking Task Force with a focus on environmental issues. He and his wife live in Delmar.

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