Our May worship gathering invited us to reflect on the hospitality we receive from God and from the Earth, and how we offer hospitality in return as an act of reciprocity.
As part of the readings & reflections time, the following was shared by Leah Bowman:
Robin Wall Kimmerer speaks in her book Braiding Sweetgrass about reciprocity; the idea that there should be a give and take between humans and non humans. She sometimes refers to this idea as the Honorable Harvest, where you only take what you need. For far too long, humans have been doing a whole lot of taking; too much taking; taking to the point of extinction; taking to the point of resource depletion; taking to the point, as some may say, of no return.
I'd like to read a couple of quotes from Braiding Sweetgrass where Robin reflects on this concept to get us thinking about this idea.
“...all flourishing is mutual. We need the berries and the berries need us. Their gifts multiply by our care for them, and dwindle from our neglect. We are bound in a covenant of reciprocity, a pact of mutual responsibility to sustain those who sustain us.” (p 382)
“The moral covenant of reciprocity calls us to honor our responsibilities for all we have been given, for all that we have taken. It’s our turn now, long overdue. … Whatever our gift, we are called to give it and to dance for the renewal of the world. In return for the privilege of breath.” (p 384)
Today we want to reflect on what it means to engage in reciprocity and hospitality with the earth & beings that are other than us. What does it mean to be neighborly to the earth and other beings? The Voice translation of the golden rule in Luke 6:31 reads: "Think of the kindness you wish others would show you; do the same for them.” What does it look like to extend Jesus' invitation to both our human and our more-than-human neighbours? How do you show kindness to all beings?
How do you see reciprocity & hospitality happening in this place, at this moment right before you? What are the ways that you are currently engaging in reciprocity and hospitality in your life, with your little corner of the world? Are there things that you are currently doing or wish to do that would foster a spirit of reciprocity & hospitality?
At the end of our gathering we each took a little handful of black-oil sunflower seeds and left them behind somewhere as a symbolic act of reciprocity.
Reflections, poetry, prayers, photos, and resources written by Wendy Janzen unless otherwise noted.