Season of Creation 1 – Sept 2, 2018, God’s presence in creation

Title:Season of Creation 1 – Sept 2, 2018, God’s presence in creation

 Season of Creation 1, Year B, Sept. 2, 2018 (full size gallery)

Yesterday, Sept 1 was the “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” thus kicking off for many of us the Season of Creation which lasts until Oct. 4, the day we remember St. Francis.

Those who lead this movement all around the world wrote that “the most basic, powerful, and counter-cultural thing we can do for God’s creation is pray. With prayer, we become open to God’s guidance, inspiration, and calls to action. With prayer, God knits us closer together in community. Only by the grace and inspiration of God can hearts and minds transform.”

Dr. William P. Brown of Columbia Theological seminary wrote the following about creation care. “The fundamental mandate for creation care comes from Genesis 2:15, where God places Adam in the garden to “till it and keep it…” Human “dominion” as intended in Genesis is best practiced in care for creation, in stewardship, which according to Genesis Noah fulfills best by implementing God’s first endangered species act.”

As the Pope has said many times, “We are the guardians of Creation” and “everything is connected.” We must be the stewards of our earth and be on guard for its exploitation.

The Season of Creation as with last year focuses on God the Creator. There are different scriptures to consider. There are more activities. Christian Ed takes center state with both children and adult program beginning Sept 9 in the Parish House.

We had 41 in the service on a beautiful Labor Day weekend with full sunshine. The Season of Creation allows us to “change up the service”. We used an alternate lectionary plus a special Eucharistic Prayer, “We Give Thanks”.

Our opening hymn 9,”Not here for high and holy things” focused on that theme. You can see why it was chosen:

“Not here for high and holy things
we render thanks to thee,
but for the common things of earth,
the purple pageantry
of dawning and of dying days,
the splendor of the sea,
the royal robes of autumn moors,
the golden gates of spring,
the velvet of soft summer nights,
the silver glistering
of all the million million stars,
the silent song they sing…

The words were written by Geoffrey Kennedy (1883-1929), an English Anglican priest who saw service in WWI. He was nicknamed ‘Woodbine Willie’ during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes along with spiritual aid to injured and dying soldiers. He wrote poetry which was published. In one poem he wrote he could see the “proof of the living God in every living things.”

Hear us sing a portion in September, 2017.

The lectionary and analysis for the first Sunday in the Season of Creation is here. The bulletin is here.

God’s sustains the earth, promotes renewal for the entire creation, gives us the ability to take action where needed in the world. We need to deal with each other. James provides a brief guide to healthy communication – listen well, speak carefully, and share you anger in ways that join not separate. “be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.”

In the Gospel, the sower spreads seed haphazardly which can be equated to God’s grace. The seed which fell on good soil This represents the people who heard God’s word and believed it. They put their trust in Jesus. Their hearts received the message of the kingdom, and the seed will take root.

How we respond is the key – both in relationship to improve the environment and creating lasting relationships with each other. Through looking at 5 areas of the environment we can see the work that is pressing which we can only makes progress by tackling the issues together. Check out “water” for Sept 2 and “earth” this week for Sept 9.

The sermon provided these points:

“Today’s scriptures illustrate the premise that God is always working toward a new creation right here, on this earth. This new creation is marked by peace and by joy.

“When that baptismal water pours over our heads, we are given the opportunity to open our eyes to God’s creating powers throughout our lives. We have the desire to seek that new creation even when all around us has grown old and hope seems to have vanished.

“When we choose to live in God’s new creation, we grow, and contribute to the good of the world around us.

From the Collect = “We ask God to graft in our hearts the love of God’s name, To give us growth in true religion, which is to love God and then to love one another as God has loved us, To nourish us with all goodness,
When we let God work in our lives, we get to be like fruit trees, and produce fruit, the fruit of good works.

In today’s reading from James, the writer reminds us that we are the first fruits of God, that the word that God implants in us has saving power. We are to be doers of the word, and not hearers only.

“And in the gospel, Jesus, who loved to tell stories, today tells the crowd a story about a farmer sowing seeds. In this story, God is the farmer, sowing the Word, hoping the seeds being sown will take root and grow.

“We, the listeners, are the soil. And so depending on the sort of soil we have chosen to become, that seed, God’s Word, may well die before it ever germinates in us, or it may struggle along, and then die from neglect. Or some stronger plant may choke out the new growth.

“God is waiting for permission to be our full time gardener, to help us tend our gardens, so that we can be doers of the word and not hearers only, and so that our gardens can become welcoming places of abundance and plenty, joy and peace.”