All I could think as I struggled to get out of bed was that this day belongs in Lent. This day needs confession and absolution. Dear Just and Merciful Jesus this day needs confession and absolution.
So I altered a prayer from the PCUSA to reflect this complicated day. I hope you'll read it with me, and as feels good and right, share it around:
Gracious Creator, our brokenness today is too heavy to carry, too visible to hide, and too vast to undo. We have taken land from gentle stewards using education as a weapon, disease as a method, and violence as a deed of ownership. We have harvested century old communities of trees and left their inhabitants without homes or sustenance. I've never done one of these things personally, but everything I have and many of the things I enjoy about my place were received through this dark and broken relationship with the earth you created and asked us to care for. And so these sins are mine. My hands are dirty not with soil but with inherited destruction.
And, we have added to that inherited destruction: driving where we could walk. Throwing plastic into the sea. Grabbing a plastic water bottle because it saves us five minutes as we walk out the door. Running our car engines to keep warm in parking lots in the winter. Consuming and consuming beyond what we need as though manna never came from the heavens.
Forgive what our lips tremble to name, what our hearts can no longer bear.
Set us on a path, with you, to redeem the past we cannot change. Open to us a future that can be miraculously changed. In your power to create and re-create, allow it not to be too late. And grant us grace to grow more and more in the image of you: the playful, diligent, wise Creator of this place we inhabit.
And on this day we mark to remember the land and all that lives in and on it, give us a seeming impossible cocktail of repentance, your undeserved absolution, good work to do with our hands, and rapturing wonder and joy in the beauty of this earth you have given to us and us to.
We pray this in the only name that could hold this heavy, visible, vast pain and lingering hope: the Jesus who defeated brokenness and death proclaiming that life and love will always win. Amen.