I invite you to reflection and prayer on the gift of God’s creation during the next four weeks – the “Season of Creation.”
Each year, Christians around the world join in celebrating the Season of Creation. This is a time for renewing, repairing and restoring our commitments to God, to one another, and to all of creation – relationships at the heart of Christian discipleship. It is also a time for deepening and expanding our work and witness for climate justice and environmental care. We are mindful in this season that we share in the gifts and responsibilities of God’s good creation. Our stewardship of the earth is not bound by national or ecclesiastical borders, but by our common baptism. By enriching our spirits together, we become emboldened as disciples of Christ and enlivened in our witness to the One, who came to redeem all of creation.
The observance of the Season of Creation has been growing for more than 30 years. In 1989, the Ecumenical Patriarch (the leader of the Orthodox church) declared September 1st a day of prayer for creation (The church year for our Orthodox brothers and sister begins September 1 with a commemoration of how God created the world). In 2000, churches in Australia created a teaching series on creation which lasted from September 1-October 4 (St. Francis Day). Churches in Europe brought it to the World Council of Churches in 2007 and Anglicans in South Africa developed resources in 2008. Pope Francis invited Roman Catholics around the world to observe this season beginning in 2015.
This year, our Presiding Bishop, The Right Reverend Michael Curry, joins with fellow bishops in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The Anglican Church of Canada, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada in offering weekly reflections during the Season of Creation. Here is the first reflection.
“Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep.”Romans 13:11
Discipleship is a lifelong calling to worship, learn, listen and act in the name of Jesus. In Romans 13, disciples are invited to wake up to the significance of the times in which they live.
Waking up to matters of climate justice and environmental stewardship are among the most important callings people have today. Over many years, through many voices, our churches have come to a growing conviction that loving our neighbour includes loving Mother Earth as a neighbour.
Who helps you to wake up?
For our churches, many voices have come from Indigenous Peoples who continue to teach us the significance of land and relationships. The particular “place you are in” at any given moment is important. “Land” is about relationships between earth, water, animals, plants, peoples, environments and climate. Healing relationships with the land are essential for justice and peace among peoples. God speaks to us anew through relationships with the land.
Worship also wakes us up. Worship helps open our hearts, minds, bodies and spirits to our relationships with creation and to the possibilities for action. We are grateful for the worship you regularly offer in order to support many on the journey of learning, listening, discerning and acting.
What songs, prayers, words and practices encourage you as you express your discipleship through caring for creation? What helps you wake up?
Loving God, we thank you for the gift of life in all its diversity and beauty; renew us in discipleship and in love for the earth. Amen.
Click here for more Season of Creation resources from The Episcopal Church.