My husband and I go grocery-shopping very early in the morning so that we avoid crowds and try to stay healthy. The other day, as we were driving home from that chore, the sun was about to rise; the colors in the sky—intense reds and pinks against the shades of blue—were gorgeous! We beheld the work of the greatest Artist of all!
And so I am moved to think about some of the wonders of creation and say prayers of thanks and awe to the Creator!
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the
light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called
the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Genesis 1:3-4a)
And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it
separate the waters from the waters.” (Gen. 1:6)
God called the dome Sky. (Gen 1:8a )
I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy the sight of a beautiful sunrise if all we had was darkness. Sure, darkness can make it easier to sleep and, therefore, promote rest for the weary, but light is truly a gift from God. Night can be a time for recouping, rethinking, relaxing, and reviewing our day, perhaps freeing us from some distractions. Light can bring clarity, refreshment, truth, renewal, and hope.
We look to the sky not only for impressive colors and cloud formations but also as a place for birds to fly. In our busy world, the sky is where jet airplanes fly passengers all around the world, Lifestar helicopters help to bring aid to accident victims, and mail and goods are transported. The sky is where condensation and precipitation meet. The sky is where we look to enjoy celebratory fireworks on festive occasions.
O God, your creature says, “Thank you for giving us Day and Night so that we may
order our lives. Help us to use our days and nights wisely. May we never take for
granted the beauty of the creation we can see in the light of day, whether it be a
person, a sunrise, a sunset, a plant, or an animal. Every fine detail is your divine
handiwork. We appreciate your love for us as shown to us every day and night.
And thank you, Lord, for the sky. You provide us with breath, with beauty, with
life-sustaining refreshing rainwater, and with a medium for travel, and so much
more. Forgive us for any part we play in polluting that sky. Teach us to treasure
all the resources around us; show us how to use them wisely. Amen.”
In a world in which so much is refined, manufactured, developed, invented, and mechanized, we might not think about the bigger basic things such as the land masses and the seas. Sometimes it is helpful in our prayer life to back up to the basics. With all the possible dangers from climate change, natural disasters, pollution, and pandemic, we need to consider the blessings we enjoy, because we are gifted with so much land and water.
And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one
place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land
Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. (Gen. 1:9-10)
God, your creature says, “Divine Creator, we are grateful for your life-sustaining
gifts of land and water. Grant us the wisdom to unselfishly protect and
conserve these gifts. Help us to keep our priorities in order. May we give glory to
you by diligently caring for your creation and each other. Amen.”
Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash
Scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Sharon Krause is a RENEW volunteer whose writing has appeared in several resources for small-group faith sharing. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother residing in Manchester, Connecticut. Over the years, she has served in many parish ministries.