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Creation Care

The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. – Psalm 24

The Season of Creation, an annual celebration of prayer and action of the Church to protect God’s creation, is coming to a close. So, I ask you to consider this brief theological reflection on creation care and Harvest Thanksgiving.

We had wonderful Harvest Thanksgiving celebrations in Parish, and I feel particularly blessed to live in Southern Ontario. We delight in the blueberries and strawberries of spring, the beans and tomatoes of summer, and the apples, squash, and corn of the autumn. We pray for our farmers and thank God for their good work, which sustains life.

All of creation glorifies God’s name, who invites us to participate in His creation. A Rabbi pointed out to me some years ago that the Jewish people look to Leviticus when considering the call to be good stewards of creation:

3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in their yield,

4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of complete rest for the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.

5 You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your unpruned vine: it shall be a year of complete rest for the land.

6 You may eat what the land yields during its Sabbath—you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound laborers who live with you,

7 for your livestock also, and for the wild animals in your land all its yield shall be for food. Leviticus 25:3-7

Clearly, God gives explicit instruction so that the earth’s flora, fauna, and all people will prosper.

I am moved by the prayers for the preparation of the altar for celebrating the Lord’s Supper in the Book of Common Worship from the Church of England:

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation: through your goodness we have this bread to set before you, which earth has given and human hands have made. It will become for us the bread of life. Blessed be God for ever.

God is active in our lives and environment, calling us to participate in His life-giving creation. I cannot imagine a more meaningful way of life than heeding God’s call to bear fruit in the Kingdom of God. We bear fruit in this life and in life eternal through Christ.

Now it’s time for me to get back down to Earth! Let’s talk more about God’s creation, especially apples, beans, squash, and blueberries. Did you know that all of these rely on pollinators for their growth? In fact, 70% of the global food supply relies on pollinators such as flies, beetles, butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, and, of course, bees! So, what can we do to help our pollinating pals?

To answer, we will read next week an article from Bonita Slunder about the Friends of St. John’s Pollinator Project at the Greater Glory Garden. Stay Tuned!

Love and Blessings, Fr. Jon

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