From the primal elements you brought forth the human race, and blessed us with memory, reason, and skill. You made us the rulers of creation. But we turned against you and betrayed your trust; and we turned against one another.
Have mercy, Lord, for we are sinners in your sight.
We begin as an egg and sperm, sourced from two different people. We are born unfinished and dependent, requiring others to love us and teach us how to be human. This brings the gift of memory, allowing us to learn when we do things the right way and when we don’t. This brings the gift of reason – something that must be fostered over many years, something that can be damaged or encouraged. This brings the gift of skill, the talent and ability to build and change the world in countless ways.
What happens when we forget that we cannot be who we are without others – and that others cannot be who they are without us? What happens when we decide that our survival and our gain is about getting rid of others rather than acknowledging that we are dependent on others? What happens when we make ourselves rulers of creation without remembering that a loving God made us? What happens when we forget that we are not self-created?
When we turn against others, thinking it will be to our advantage in some way, we damage ourselves as well as others in the process. Who we are will always be tied to everyone else. When we remember that we began in God’s embrace, just as all things did, we just might pause long enough to see in the face of another our own lives. We begin biologically in others, we grow with others, and we die into the great community of all living things. Returned to God, forgiven and embraced.
Have mercy on us, Lord. Help us remember our common creation, use our reason to honor and love others, and our skill to build a world where every living thing is treated as your precious child. We can’t do it without you. Amen.