God, I’m waking up today in the relative quiet of our rented home. The sky is blue with a few clouds slowly drifting by. The windows are open. I’ve heard seven distinct bird calls – there’s a crow and a jay but I can’t name most them by their chirps, yet, you know them. There is a cricket, too – no, wait; it’s not a cricket, it’s some other small insect declaring its presence above the background noise of a squirrel chattering as if something has just caught its attention for the first time. An occasional car or two meanders past our house, otherwise the hustle and bustle of the world around me this morning comes from the stirring of your creation. I pray that I might have eyes to see and ears to hear the goodness of your creation today. Yet, I must admit, that prayer seems daunting, almost impossible. I’ve seen the news already this morning. I’ve followed the reports of missing people planes in San Francisco and Alaska a train in Quebec violence in the fear of and yearning for freedom in Egypt markets reacting to speculative uncertainties politicized rancor over marriage, abortion, and voting rights the debauchery and self-indulging character of some elected officials All the while trying to avoid the racism broadcasted as reality and promoted as newsworthy or the cheap gossip about the antics and the children of the famous or the voyeuristic repulsion with which we create celebrities out of the wicked. And while I give you thanks for the tranquil start to my day, I lament at how we use each other and co-opt your creation for selfish gain at how we seek our well being through degrading and killing others at how we find pleasure in gossip at how we justify our choices because of what others have done to us at how we take comfort in knowing that other have done worse. Have mercy upon us. But none of this is news to you. Your eyes have seen and your ears have heard spilled blood soaking the dust from which you fashioned us vitriolic curses called down with the breaths and voices you entrusted to us resources stolen, marketed, and sold as if your stewards were owners women, children, and immigrants abused neglected and rejected as if you had created them deficient. You are familiar with all our ways. You entered this brokenness, our brokenness and made it your own. You suffered. You died at our hands. I wonder as we pounded those nails into you, could you still look at all you had made and call us ‘very good’? Somehow you must have. You must see more than we do. You came back to life – this life, with body and breath and appetite, still prone to our corruption of all three – and you offered a new life, no longer constrained by an end of inevitable decay or entangled in corruption pursuing temporary survival and success, and you set about the seemingly daunting task of making all things new with a promise that one day all of your creation, even we who have ransacked all that you have made, will flourish. I know we’re not there yet, I only need feel my face contort when I don’t get my way listen to my I’m-more-important-than-you-so-don’t-interrupt-me tones count the hours I have sat on my couch watching, surfing, playing to know that the flourishing has not yet come. Perhaps, we will only taste little morsels and see brief glimpses of what is to come – and I even wonder if we will recognize them when you give them – Yet, you know them. So, I pray that you would give all of us you would give me eyes to see and ears to hear how all that you have created might flourish, and how we how I might participate in the life that you are recreating even here, even now. In Jesus Christ and through the Spirit, I pray. Amen.