It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Some years ago, groups of clergy, scholars, and worship artists from Australia and the United States and probably lots of other places began concurrent projects to focus a season of the church year on the celebration of Creator and creation. They hope to interject into our worship rhythm a new season alongside Advent and Lent and Eastertide and Pentecost, a series of Sundays devoted to joining human voices with the voices of praise that ring out from the full expanse of God’s creation.
The new Season of Creation is organized around a three-year cycle so that it fits into the schedule of Scripture readings used by churches following the Revised Common Lectionary (which First Mennonite does some/most of the time). Creation is given the four Sundays prior to October 4, traditionally the church’s Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi, who is widely considered the patron saint of animals and other non-human parts of God’s creation. Four Sundays times three years equals twelve worship services, each one given a theme.
This year (Lectionary “Year A”) the four Sundays are devoted to: Forest; Land; Wilderness; and River. Worship services and sermons during this season fall into the Wisdom tradition of the Bible. With Jesus we celebrate the rich colors God endows to the lilies of the field and the abundant food that grows for the singing sparrow, trusting that the Holy Spirit of God lives in and through the whole cosmos. All of creation daily pulses with infinite expressions of divine creativity and love. We learn from the non-human parts of creation what it means to be human, and we lift our voices with theirs in praise of our Creator.