Every week when we come together for worship, through our liturgy, we enter into a story. This story is not just any story, but THE story of how God created the world, how the world fell into sin, and how God redeems and re-creates this world.
Throughout the Church year, we focus on different aspects of this Gospel story. During the first half of the church year, we celebrate the events of Christ’s life, beginning with Advent and the expectation of his birth, continuing with Christmas, Epiphany, Christ’s baptism, his temptation in the desert, his teachings and miracles, his transfiguration, his journey to Jerusalem and the cross, his glorious resurrection, his ascension to the throne at the right hand of God, and finally the sending of his Spirit on the day of Pentecost. The second half of the church year, referred to as the “Time after Pentecost” or “Ordinary Time,” generally focusses on the work of the Holy Spirit in our world and in the church.
During Ordinary Time, many churches around the world have begun to celebrate a Season of Creation from September 1 – October 4, beginning on the Orthodox Day of Creation and ending on the Roman Catholic day of St. Francis of Assisi Blessing of the Animals. This year at COS, we will join with Christian brothers and sisters around the world as we celebrate this season of Creation.
The “God the Creator” liturgy that we will use in this season invites us into the story of Creation, Fall, and Redemption, as do all our other liturgies. Notice, however, the special emphasis on God as Creator of the universe and the role we are called to take up in this creation story.
Our sermons during this time will help us remember the call of Jeremiah to bring the word of God to God’s people in captivity. Our liturgy will help us remember our original calling as image-bearers of our Creator: to tend and care for all God’s creatures. In a time of concern for the well-being of our island home, it is appropriate to be reminded of our role in the exploitation of God’s creation, our role in the renewing of the creation, and our hope in the redeeming work of Christ.
Notice in the liturgy that we are called, not only to praise God ourselves, but also to give voice to the praise of all created things. So we sing, “The hills and mountains, the rivers and fountains, the deeps of the ocean proclaim him divine.”
Notice in the liturgy that we are called to tend God’s creation as the Good Shepherd tends his flock, treating this earth and all that is in it with care. And we are called to confess our rebellion, our exploitation and our idolization of creation.
Notice in the liturgy that we are called to listen to the Word who was with God in the beginning, through whom all things came into being, the voice behind creation. And we are called to listen even if we don’t understand.
Notice in the liturgy that we are called to share what God has entrusted to us, offering the gifts of our life and labor for the healing and flourishing of all creation.
Notice in the liturgy that we are called to partner with God in the renewing of all Creation as we are sent out into the world as stewards of creation and ambassadors of this Gospel story.
And so we find our place in this great story, praising, confessing, listening, sharing, offering thanksgiving, and renewing. As you go out into the callings of your week, remember your Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. Remember your place in The Story. And be attentive to the ways in which you can be an agent of renewal for the re-creation of this world.