Sermon/Worship Series

September 4 – October 2

Listen to the Voice of Creation

 

The Season of Creation is the annual Christian celebration to listen and respond together to the cry of Creation. It began in 1986 in the Orthodox community and has since been embraced worldwide by member denominations in the World Council of Churches and Reformed Alliance of Churches. The Season begins September 1, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and ends October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology beloved by many Christian denominations. 


This year’s theme is “Listen to the Voice of Creation,” and we will be joining with churches around the globe to listen to the voice of the waters, the animals, and the cosmos. We will also be reflecting on the Biblical stories of Creation, when God’s voice speaks to remind us that we are a part of the whole and created to be stewards of its goodness.


The order of worship will be slightly different during the Season of Creation, as we open ourselves to the world beyond our walls. We will use language of praying with the rest of creation, using prayers and reflections from the global church. We will sing a Zulu chorus that means “What have we done?” during each prayer for wholeness and repentance. And we will share the scriptures communally, using a responsive format that will invite you into the telling of the story as you hear it read. 


We will have a Wonder Table in the sanctuary, over by the PrayGround, where we will share different symbols of creation and its care. You are invited to visit the Wonder Table to see the weekly offerings and to share your own treasures as you feel led to do so. One of the features of the Wonder Table is a large map of the world, with crayons provided for coloring. You are welcome to color a part of the map before, during, or after worship if you would like to be a part of creating a new thing.


September 4 — Listen to the Voice of Creation [view on YouTube]

Scripture: Psalm 19.

In this first week, we begin by recognizing our relationship to all things, and to the way in which God’s love and God’s work can be seen in the whole world. Using liturgical materials from around the world, we will imagine a different relationship to the rest of the created order, including the land on which we live.


September 11 — Listen to the Voice of the Water [view on YouTube]

Scripture: Job 38:1–18.

Water covers two-thirds of the planet we call home, and the chemical composition of ocean water is strikingly similar to that of human blood. In this passage from Job, God says that the oceans are the waters of birth for all of life, and challenges Job to see the wisdom that undergirds all of the created world. What is our relationship to the watershed we live in, to its rivers and streams, and to the oceans that surround us?


September 18 — Caring for Creation [view on YouTube]

Scripture: Genesis 1:1–25. Elder Chris Burger preaching.

Chris and Cindy Burger have spent 50 years living a life dedicated to caring for creation. Chris finds in the first 25 verses of Genesis a powerful affirmation of the goodness of creation, and of God’s celebration of that goodness. We are called to hear again that celebration, and to rein in our sense of domination and privilege so that we can participate in restoring original goodness to our world.


September 25 — Listen to the Voice of the Animals [view on YouTube]

Scripture: Numbers 22:21–39. A part of this service will be a blessing of the animals.

What will it take to get our attention? In this story from the book of Numbers, God gives literal speech to a donkey, forcing Balaam to recognize God’s protection of a particular people and a particular place. There are echoes of this story in the threatened extinction of many creatures and in our growing recognition of the fragility of life in our world. How can we listen to the voice of the animals, and find our way back to harmony with our fellow creatures?


October 2 — Listen to the Voice of the Cosmos

Scripture: Psalm 19 and Proverbs 8:22–31.

On this last Sunday of Creation Season, we return to Psalm 19, and reflect this time on the vastness of creation — the wonders that are being revealed as we develop the ability to see farther and farther into the space beyond our atmosphere. The Proverbs text tells us that Wisdom was

the Creator’s companion, and reminds us playfulness and delight are a part of the created order. As we celebrate Worldwide Communion Sunday, we join all of creation in delighting in God’s wisdom and the marvelous universe of which we are a tiny part.