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Saint Francis

Creation Season 2016

Saint Francis

Many people focus on creation during the month of September – a “creation season” concluding on the feast of St Francis on October 4. By this is not meant some tiresome, month-long preaching against evolution, but an examination of how we humans live within this created world, and a recommitment to living appropriately, as God intends. And all this is seen as an essential part of mission, in partnership with others who share concern for “our common home”.

If you have ideas and resources for this month, please put them in the comments below.

This site is committed to the three year lectionary (RC) and its derivative, the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). Rather than departing from that lectionary, in previous years resources have been provided on this site for a “creation reading” of our shared biblical texts. This approach takes seriously the claim that our relationship with creation is a thread throughout the Bible.

The lectionary for year C (2016, 2019, 2022…)

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 28 August and 3 September:
The First Testament readings and psalms speak of land, wilderness, deserts, pits, drought, darkness, a land that no one passes through, where no one lives, and a plentiful land where one can eat its fruits and its good things, God’s land that one can defile, heavens that can be shocked, and utterly desolate, places for water that hold no water. The gospel speaks of banqueting, feasting with and receiving from our prodigal, providing Creator.

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 4 and 10 September:
The First Testament readings and psalms has creation like clay in the potter’s hand. We are known and formed – my inward parts – you knit me together in my mother’s womb. They speak of land, heaven, and earth, life and death, trees planted by streams of water. The gospel speaks of calculating the cost and simplifying our lifestyle.

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 11 and 17 September:
Jeremiah brings the most poignant, strong words connected to creation this Sunday with a hot wind that comes out of the bare heights in the desert, an earth that is waste and void where all the birds of the air have fled. The fruitful land is a desert, and all its cities are laid in ruins. The whole land shall be a desolation. Yet words of hope are there even within this vision, which in the gospel speaks of the cost of searching for what we have lost.

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 18 and 24 September:
Jeremiah speaks of God’s presence in (or rather absence from) a physical place (in this case Zion). The Northern Hemisphere will identify with the thought that harvest is past, the summer is ended. There is mention of a spring of water, a fountain of tears. The psalm points to birds of the air and the wild animals. Amos highlights our measuring time by the moon and our fundamental dependence on food, on grain. The psalm picks up the sun as a measure of time and images the view of this fragile planet from on high. The gospel highlights we are stewards, “managers” of what God entrusts to us.

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 25 and 1 October:
Jeremiah highlights the attitude that land is ours – that it can be bought and sold and be our private property. In the psalm images from God are drawn from nature: pinions, wings. Amos questions the growth of wealth. Psalm 146 speaks of our breath and our relationship with the earth – our connection with the God who makes all things. 1 Timothy also questions our avarice, as does Luke’s gospel reading.

A creation reading of the lectionary for the Sunday between 2 and 8 October:
The First Testament images are strong ones of desolation – of the grieving as all we, and God, love is being destroyed. Jesus, in Luke’s gospel, highlights how attentive he was to the variety of nature and how he delighted in all the diversity in God’s natural creation.

Other resources, such as the church’s mission statement, A Song of Brother Sun, a form of confession, intersessions, a creation-focused preface, and so on, are found at the page Creation Season.

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4 thoughts on “Creation Season 2016”

  1. I know it’s not an out-and-out issue, but doesn’t the first Sunday of Creation Time always coinciding with Father’s Day create problems? Too great a temptation to preach heretically on the Creator-Father? How do you deal with that one, by banning Father’s Day until St Joseph’s?

    1. Thanks, Gareth. I think there are a multitude of issues here – including issues with how we deal with Father’s Day (and Mother’s Day). I am not a great advocate of “Creation Season” as a unit in itself (hence, this attempt to retain the normal Church Year direction and fit a creation emphasis within that if desired); I also have issues with “themed” Sundays. I, however, see no problem with stressing creation more consciously, and possibly using a more creation-focused Eucharistic Prayer, say, for this month. That probably doesn’t respond to your points – but I guess it is part of the dialogue. Blessings.

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