United Church of Christ

Living Psalm 23 - Creation Justice - Lent 4

Living Psalms Book

Psalms in the form of words and art, reborn in the specific contexts of our world, privileging the voices of historically marginalized communities and those acting in solidarity with them.

Living Psalms for Creation Justice
Lent, 2020

(To accompany Journey Toward Hope)

Living Psalm 23—Fourth Sunday of Lent

The Creator and Sustainer of all of creation is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
Mother Nature on the other hand pleads with us 
to recognize the need for environmental justice and care for all created beings. 

Climate justice invites me to lie down in green pastures before they cease to exist
because of our recklessness. 
The Universe full of its glory invites me to relax and enjoy the beauty and majesty 
of still waters that are not polluted and abused at the hands of humankind. 
Those still waters are shrinking. What will we do?

Being one with nature and recognizing God’s abundant gift of creation restores my soul. There is hope that we can turn this around before it is too late for humanity. 
The path, I discover, is clear. 
To achieve right relationship and bring climate justice is our goal. 
For God’s sake, let us recognize all creation as part of us before it turns away 
and claims its revenge for the injustices we have done to the planet.

We are walking through the valley of the shadow of death that we, as humans, have created. It would not be a true statement if I said, “I fear no evil”. 
I fear humanity and its lack of respect for the earth and the resources God has provided. Gracious God, I seek to fear no evil. 
Yet, I have doubts that we can get our act together and preserve the earth 
that you have provided for us to live on as your children. 
Even in doubt and despair, I can only embrace your promise to be with me. 
The love you have for all created beings and creation itself, comfort me. 

You are still creating and preparing a table for humanity 
in spite of all the violations we have perpetrated on our planet and towards each other. 
With love and kindness, you anoint our heads with oil 
reminding us to be good stewards of our environment.  
With your grace and our human action our cup can once again overflow 
as we care for our planet and each other. 

Surely goodness and mercy will flow from the heavens to help us resurrect 
all that we have violated and lost by ignoring our climate 
and not working for environmental justice. 
Once we awaken from our sleep and slumber, 
we will organize and work in a coordinated fashion or risk death and destruction. 
God desires us to dwell with all of creation, Mother Nature and climate justice 
in the house that God built.  
Let’s not destroy that one either. 

Living Psalm 23—Creation Justice—Lent 4 was written by the Rev. Justo González II, Interim Conference Minister, Illinois Conference.

Living Psalms Book is created by UCC Witness & Worship Artists’ Group, a Network of UCC connected artists, activists and ministers bridging the worship and liturgy of the local church with witness and action in the community.  

Logo is detail from Living Psalm 80 by Sophia Beardemphl, Redwoods, CA. Recovering from significant bullying, Sophia, age nine, read Psalm 80 and thought of brokenness that needs mending. She drew this broken and mended bowl.

© Copyright 2020 Faith INFO Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved.  

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