Holy ground

Autumn at Auld Bridge, North Ayrshire photograph by my friend Heather Upfield.

Holy Ground

Sometimes it feels like our world is simply falling apart, or to be truthful, humanity is proving to be a big threat to the earth God made and of which we are supposedly stewards.
Ukraine, for example, is where the demonic, in the shape of Mr Putin, is threatening to destroy a land which doesn’t belong to him and a people who, for the most part are innocent. There is little that most of us can do about that. Some of us feel powerless to change things for the better.
Meanwhile, we in England are spectators to a different kind of power struggle which is, nevertheless, upsetting.
Our ruling party in Parliament is engaged in what can be described as in-fighting, warfare, and a pitiful attacking of each other. What they are not doing, it seems, is actually governing. It has been going on for months and there is no clear end in sight. Meanwhile many of us feel powerless at the futility of it all.

So, I was pleased that my friend Heather sent me the above photo of an autumn scene in North Ayrshire.
It gave me a different perspective. I was reminded that there is a different view of the world, and creation provides it.  Whilst there is much to do and hearts and minds to change about the care of creation, the world continues to move through the seasons showing us beauty and freshness and hopefully joy.
Autumn is such a definite season of both dying and rebirth. As the autumn coloured leaves drop silently to the ground, they leave behind a space for new buds to form and new life to burst forth in due season.
Some in the animal kingdom hibernate or slow their pace at this time of year. Would that humanity might imitate! We might do less damage!

All of us are looking expectantly towards the movement of Autumn into the Christmas light of the Christ-Child, once again  illuminating darkness – Diwali for the Hindu people on Monday, Hanukkah for the Jewish people in December, (Eid – Al-Hada for Muslims at a variable time). Light penetrates darkness and reminds us of our dependence on the Sun.  Also, perhaps, we may re-discover the importance of the delicate balance of the Cosmos as well as of our own Planet.

Seasons are good moments to repent – to turn away from all the things we are doing wrong to Creation, the world of Nature and to ourselves. A time to turn back to God and look forward to better things; to do better; to be better people.
A time to try to be more Godly and to remind ourselves that all life is gift and that we are given, also, a planet to care for, including each other, and therefore we are on God’s Holy Ground.

I came across this prayer recently and I share it with you. It deserves to be prayed  with joyful repentance.

Loving God,
We praise you for the miracle of life and growth: for the smell of flowers, fresh vegetables
and an autumn morning,
 for the taste of crunchy apples and warm porridge,
 for the sound of running streams, Mozart and a school playground,
 for the feel of warm soup, smooth velvet and loving arms.

Particularly, today, we thank you for trees:
 for the beauty of their shape and form,
 for the freshness and life they bring to our streets,
 for their essential contribution to the cycle of nature.

Loving God, forgive us:
when we don’t notice this wonderful world in which we live, 
when we don’t think about the impact of some of the things we do, 
when we deliberately contribute to the destruction of your world.
Let us remember;
that the ground we stand upon is holy ground
let us keep it, guard it, care for it, 
for it keeps us, guards us, cares for us.


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