Around the globe, Christians everywhere are coming together to celebrate the Season of Creation. This season begins on September 1 and ends on October 4. Leaders of a diverse group of both Eastern Orthodox and Western Catholic and Protestant churches have issued statements calling for their members to love God as well as God's earth and all its peoples.
The Season of Creation is a time to renew our relationship with our Creator and all of creation through repenting, restoring, and rejoicing together. During the Season of Creation, we join our sisters and brothers in prayer and action for our common home.
This year, amid crises that have shaken our world, we are awakened to the urgent need to heal our relationships with each other and the world. The Season of Creation unites the world's 2.2 billion Christians around one shared purpose. With so much injustice all around us, now is the time for Christians everywhere to come together and show the world how to love each other and creation.
This would be a powerful witness to the reality of the living Christ among us. Nothing and no one is meant to be disposable. All that is created is precious to the Creator. This truth—if we believe it—could change the way we speak about and treat nearly everything.
If water, which can be changed to wine, can also become the blood of Christ in our shared gathering, how can we pollute the water and not care?
If bread can be blessed and broken and shared so that there is enough for all, how can we let so many go hungry in this beloved world?
If we are created from the elements of the earth itself, why do we plunder the earth for its resources rather than treat the earth with reverence?
This season is a time for repenting: for recognizing the ways we have sinned against creation by what we have done and by what we have left undone. To repent means to turn in a new direction. It is not enough to confess how we have failed in the past, rather we need to go in a new direction moving forward.
Together, the church needs to make new commitments. Individually, we need to as well. What particular actions might you take to better care for our common home, the earth? What ideas do you have for our congregation?
During this pandemic, as industry has been unexpectedly slowed and people have driven and flown less, levels of pollution have gone down. This is a hopeful sign, in that it shows that the damage we have done to the earth can be, at least partially, reversed.
While we are hopeful that the pandemic will come to an end soon, one of the positive commitments we can make moving forward, is to use the resources we have in a way that restores the creation. Too often we are driven by greed and convenience. Can we learn to share more and be willingly inconvenienced for the good of the earth and all its people?
Finally, we are called to rejoice together during this season of creation. These have been heavy days for many of us. We are weary. And yet: if we lift up our eyes and see the beauty of this created world and breathe deeply and slowly, we may find our hope restored. If we look around at all the people trying-imperfectly-to make this a more just and loving world, we may find reason to rejoice.
Perhaps, during this month-long Season of Creation, we can take time each day to say a prayer of thanks for what we have received that day from the gracious hand of our Creator. And we can look for ways that we might live differently so that this good earth will flourish for generations yet unborn.
Peace be with you,
The Rev. Dr. Mary Ubuntu is the spiritual leader of Resurrection Lutheran Church and has served in that capacity since 2003. More on Pastor Mary can be found HERE.