In the beginning, God placed the earth neither too far nor too close to the sun to perfectly sustain life. Then, God created us along with plants and animals and gave us the role of gardener, steward of the planet. …Yet, with the convenience of grocery stores and modern transportation, we are more disconnected from how our food is raised. In our busyness, we consume the earth’s resources with little appreciation. We go from our homes to our cars to our schools with our earbuds in, without noticing the sun, the trees, the clouds, or the bird’s chirp of greeting. Connecting to nature is another key to wholeness.
—Sarah E. Bollinger and Angela R. Olsen, The Awakened Life for High School Students: Finding Stillness in an Anxious World, Leader Guide (Upper Room Books, 2020)
Describe a time when you experienced a deep sense of connection with God in the natural world. How and where did you experience this connection? Join the conversation.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it.
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
—Psalm 96:11-12 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
When I am full of worry, awaken me.
When I feel isolated, awaken me.
When I am afraid, awaken me.
God of love and compassion, awaken me. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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