BPC’s Creation Care Team has once again crafted a Season of Creation worship series. It will fall on the three Sundays from April 22 to May 6th (April 22 happens to be Earth Day). Volunteers from the Worship Ministry and Creation Care have met several times to pick themes and decide on scriptures, liturgy and visual enhancements for the services. Their work has created services that already promise to be powerful. The themes this year in order are Wilderness (4/22), Diversity (4/29), and Abundance (5/6).
All three themes this year evoke contrasts. Wilderness, in scripture and in life, offers welcome solitude but also danger. There are places on earth we humans cannot enter safely, places we perhaps ought not to visit even if well-prepared. Variety and diversity lead us to consider the number of species facing extinction. Abundance evokes its opposite—scarcity, fear of which lies behind many destructive choices.
Each year the team has offered ideas for how to enjoy and protect the environment in our daily living. The invitation for the first week is to write a sentence or two about a place that represents sacred space or wilderness for you; you can submit a picture if you’d like. Why is it a favorite place for you and how can others find it? The descriptions will be shared for those who might want to make visits of their own.
Thinking about the themes has been a rich experience for me as I prepare to write the sermons. It has also led to scriptures that fall outside the Lectionary, always a good thing to do from time to time. I will be at Austin Seminary for continuing education the week of April 15-20. That means writing the Wilderness sermon before I go. I’ll be thinking of wild sacred spaces near and far, and invite you to do the same.
1 John 3:16-24