- This resource was written by Revd Simon Topping for the Season of Creation 2021
- This work may be shared freely, with attribution, without modification
This prayer could be used individually or as a meditation during a worship service. It is based on Mark 8:36 from the lectionary gospel reading for 12 September 2021.
What will it profit us to gain the whole world, but forfeit our lives?
you love the world,
you have fashioned a place of beauty, wonder and abundance,
and, in love, you have freely shared this world with us,
as a priceless gift for all to enjoy and treasure,
as a place where we can thrive and flourish
in loving relationship with you
and with all of creation.
You give yourself for the world,
but we want the world for ourselves.
In our hands, the world is transformed from gracious gift
into an opportunity for gain,
from sacred creation into tradeable commodity,
from divine provision into personal possession.
God of grace, free us from our self-destructive longings,
for, in seeking to gain the whole world,
we are destroying your precious creation,
we are forfeiting our lives,
eating away at the very ground of our existence.
Forgive us, Creator God,
and remind us that we stand on holy ground.
Jesus Christ, Saviour and Sustainer,
you tell us that we cannot calculate in coins
the value of a sparrow,
the value of perfume poured on the head of one who is facing death,
the value of feeding five thousand hungry people,
the value of human labour.
You call us from the futility of building bigger barns,
of storing up treasure that rots away.
You call us to learn from the birds of the air
who do not gather into barns,
or the lilies of the field,
whose timeless beauty and richness is to be valued in the moment,
not accumulated and stored.
In seeking to gather and gain the world for ourselves
we are harming the world and ourselves –
exhausting, depleting, extracting, exploiting,
without regard for balance or renewal.
Jesus Christ, forgive us and make in us a new creation.
giver of life and renewing energy of God,
come to us and free us from our captivity to profit and to gain,
open our eyes to truly value and cherish this sacred world,
empower us to transform structures and relationships
which undermine the integrity of creation,
release us from our desire to gain the world for ourselves,
so that we might enter into life in all its fullness.