Thursday, September 5, 2019

To everything there is a season

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

You are probably familiar with this verse from Ecclesiastes - if not from the Bible than from the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” made popular by The Byrds in the 1960’s. The Season of Creation is a time for all these activities. A time to tear down fossil fuel burning plants and a time to build sources of renewable energy. A time to weep for the irreparable damage humans have caused to God’s planet and a time to laugh at the folly of climate solutions such as sucking carbon dioxide out of the air with direct carbon capture technologies. A time to mourn the species that have been lost and a time to dance when one has been saved from extinction. A time to be silent while you are learning about climate impacts and solutions and a time to speak when you feel called and are ready to make your voice heard.

The Season of Creation started on September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. The Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I proclaimed the first of September as a day of prayer for creation for the Orthodox in 1989. Pope Francis joined the observance of the day in 2015 for the Catholic Church. Since that time, Christian churches have been celebrating the Season of Creation in various ways.

The theme for this year is “the web of life: biodiversity as God's blessing,” reminding us that all life is interconnected. Animals (including humans) and plants are most directly connected through breath. Animals breathe out carbon dioxide for plants to breathe in, and plants breathe out oxygen for animals to breathe in. One cannot survive without the other.

The Season of Creation website offers many theme-based resources for celebrating and observing the season including a prayer for 2019, ideas for prayer and worshipa sustainability eventsustainable living, and a campaign. Also, remember that the Climate Strike is September 20 where you can take your faith voice to a gathering near you. Consider what activity you might engage in as an individual, family or church during this Season of Creation. 

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