Examen for Earth Justice

Examen For Earth Justice 

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God.”
-Elizabeth Barret Browning

  1. Take a moment to pause in gratitude. Consider: What does your life depend on? What is the source of blessing in your life? Consider the ways that your life is inextricably connected to the earth. As you begin your time of prayer, pondering your inherent belonging to creation, be aware of each deep breath as sacred, symbol of this connection.
  2. Consider the ways that you live in separation from God, others, and creation. Pause in awareness for the times you seek your own well-being first and don’t consider the welfare of others. How do you participate in destructive attitudes, behaviors, and systems that diminish the worth of others and don’t honor the sacredness of creation?
  3. Reflect back on the previous day. Try to remember each detail, each hour. When did you act in dissonance with God’s vision for creation? When did you act in harmony with God’s vision for creation?
  4. Pray for forgiveness for the times you act as though you are separate from others and creation, for the moments you choose convenience over justice, personal well-being over compassion, busyness over presence, ignorance over awareness, apathy over action.
  5. Give thanks for God’s presence in and through creation. Contemplate the beauty of the earth around you. (If possible, go outside!) Breathe deeply and sense how you are a part of this. You belong simply by being alive. How does God invite you to live this belonging? Discover peace and renewal in the natural rhythms of the earth that surrounds you. Dwell in God’s presence.
  6. Consider how you will live in the days ahead. Pray that you will live from a space of deeper connectivity and compassion with God, others, and creation. Pray that you may become more aware, in all the details of your life, of how God’s shalom yearns to come to expression through you for the sake of the world.

written by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

Choose Hope

Choose Hope
by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

We are tempted with believing despair is urgent-
Disaster prolific.
We can get lost in overwhelm.
These lenses we wear we did not choose
As they attached themselves to our heart’s eyes
Through a million messages of fear-
A constant barrage in the soul.

We can all see the images
Hear the words
Sense the unrest
Like the whole earth is tipping toward ruin.

BREATHE. That’s first.
Then know:
This is the time for taking off these fear lenses
Which blind us to Spirit movement and human goodness.

We can choose how we will see this world
And how we will respond to what we see.

As followers of the risen One,
What lens are we to wear?

The lens of a resurrection people is hope.

And what is resurrection today?
Is it an event, or many events?
Is it metaphor?
Is it basic biology- a regenerative truth trapped in our DNA-
A holy momentum we couldn’t stop if we tried
That says continuing is the natural way
That all life always, even in it’s dying, is becoming part of some other life?

Choose hope
And see the inherent goodness in the world
And find a grace not your own breathing through you
And ask in wonder- from where does this capacity for forgiveness come?
And what of this strength to keep going that lifts us up in our weariness and will not let us surrender to desolation?

Choose hope
Because it is a flame burning within you regardless just waiting for you to discover and live its heat, its light.
Because it is yearning to be noticed in the daily acts that beg for your attention- the simple kindness you receive throughout the day… and the impulse in you to give simple kindness to others.

Choose hope
Because the Spirit has not stopped stirring, moving, breathing, speaking…
Because nothing is ever really ending even when it feels like it is.

Choose hope
Because it is also the birthplace of courage to speak, to live, to act the God-dream for a better world within us.
Because it is not a flight from realities of despair but strength to enter them, to resist what they are telling us about what can’t be.

Maybe the whole earth is tipping toward shalom.
Maybe what we long for is just beyond the horizon.
Maybe seeds are taking root in us planted by our ancestors.
Maybe there is still much to flourish.

Maybe people are even better than we thought they were-
That for every oppressor there is a liberator
For every violence there are communities dedicated to healing
For every cry of war there is a movement of peace.

Maybe there are actually many more people who want to love and lift up then harm and beat down.

Maybe what seems impossible now will one day be the norm for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

Choose hope-
The lens of a resurrection people,
The good news of Jesus Christ for, in, through the world today.

RESURRECTION SIGHT

Lenten Practice: Silence
Daily Act: Witness Resurrection!
Weekly Prayer Phrase: Repeat this phrase slowly as you breathe deeply. You may choose to memorize this phrase and repeat it throughout your day.

“HOLY MYSTERY, I AM SPEECHLESS IN YOUR PRESENCE.”

by Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

What does it mean today
To proclaim the Lord is risen?
What do we mean when we say
Christ is ALIVE?

I think it must have something to do
With the deepest hope within us
Coming to life
For the sake of others

Resurrection is
Not a one-time occurrence
But a way of life

The Living Christ question is:
What do you see?

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A relationship is forming
A warm meal is being shared
A welcome embrace is being offered
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A hungering child receives nourishment
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A weapon is laid down
The option of love overpowers the option of harm
Enemies become surprising friends
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone once cast aside finds inclusion
Someone who feels alone finds community
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Courage is born that leads to justice
A domination system is challenged
A way of peace emerges against the odds
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone once isolated by illness receives care
Someone grieving receives comfort
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
A hardened heart is softening
A broken heart is healing
A person once hopeless finds reason to live
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone’s worth is affirmed
Someone is given a cure, a mosquito net, a home
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone is doing something radical and courageous for love
A prophetic vision is unfolding
The kingdom of God come near
Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Someone has felt loved for the very first time

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ-
A reconciliation
A reconnecting
A rediscovering
A reinterpreting
A mind changed
A life transformed

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
Good news to the poor
Oppressed set free
Captives released
Sight restored

The stone has been rolled away from our own eyes
And suddenly we cannot help but see all around us
Resurrection in action
New life happening even now

Today, in the name of Jesus Christ
YOU- you being called
You being loved
You being stirred to life deeper
To live the resurrection story again and again
To believe, still, in what is possible
For this earth and for each of us

May you SEE
May you BE
The Living Christ
In the world
This day.