Today people all across the country in over 200 people’s climate gatherings–will march to ask for meaningful climate action. Today is the middle day of the Food Week of Action, connected to World Food Day. And, today, employees of the PC(USA) gathered at the national offices of 100 Witherspoon St, Louisville, KY to bless bikes, bus passes, car keys, and bodies that walk, run or ride to work!
Here is the liturgy we used for this morning’s gathering outside the front entrance at PC(USA):
Blessing of the Ways We Get to Work
Opening Scripture: Psalm 24 (adapted from Food for Life worship resource Oct 2015)
Leader: The earth is the Holy One’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
All: for God has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.
Leader: Who shall ascend the hill of the Holy One? And who shall stand in God’s holy place?
All: Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.
Leader: They will receive blessing from the Holy One, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
All: Such is the company of those who seek the Holy One, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
Leader: Lift up your heads, O gates!
All: and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the Glorious God may come in.
Leader: Heavenly God, Comforter; We come to you, hungry and thirsty for righteousness.
All: Come and dwell in us. Satisfy us so that we might offer hospitality, food and rest to the hungry and weary.
Gathering song- Come All You People
Scriptures and stories
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.
– Vignette: how is bicycling a way of “choosing life”?
Psalm 118:23-24 This is the Holy One’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Holy One has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
– Vignette: how does walking help us to notice God’s world?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10: Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.
– Vignette: how does carpooling help us help each other, and the world?
1 Corinthians 12:12, 26 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.
– Vignette: how does riding the bus expose us to new parts of God’s world?
Present in a world groaning under the excesses of consumption, we acknowledge the inherent goodness of non-motorized human powered transportation and give thanks for the simple beauty of the bicycle or our bodies that can walk, run or ride the bus to work. God of life, Hear our prayer.
Present in a community filled with children, we pray for those learning to ride bikes or how to navigate city streets by walking or riding buses. Keep them smart, safe, and visible on their neighborhood roads. God of life, Hear our prayer.
Present in a community filled with strife, we pray for the victims of road rage and bike theft. May ridesharing and encountering one another walking, bicycling, bus-riding help strengthen our community. God of life, Hear our prayer.
Present in a world of work, we pray for those who build, repair, and clean our bikes, our roadways, our bus lines, and for those who rely on alternatives to owning a car in order to earn their living. Bless those who choose to not drive their own single car to work and for those for whom driving isn’t even an option. God of life, Hear our prayer.
Present in a community of beautiful diversity, we ask your protection and blessing on all who ride to work in a way that perpetuates building community, creating safe spaces in our community, and maintaining public infrastructure. God of life, Hear our prayer.
We now observe a moment of silence for all who have been injured or who have died while riding, walking alone on streets, or other car accidents. God of life, Hear our prayer.
We ask your help O God who creates and sustains this beautiful world, help us to be mindful of your creative Spirit as we look at new ways to get around in our daily lives. Help us to care for your creation through our transportation choices. Amen.
– Adapted from: https://sojo.net/articles/blessing-bicycles#sthash.UqKUYfAI.dpuf
Blessing of the ways we get to work
God, we recognize our blessings and are mindful of all your people who do not have such resources. Help us to be good stewards of these modes of transportation. Bless these instruments of your work—these physical objects that carry us to and from this place, faithfully bringing us to this work place and carrying us home safely. Bless these bikes, these keys, these bus riding passes. Bless these bodies that walk and run and operate these instruments. Thank you for the air we breathe, the earth upon which we stand, the water we drink when thirsty, and the animals and plants that surround us on our daily journeys. Thank you, God! Amen.
Closing song- Siyahumba