On Sunday Sept 15, in recognition of the Toronto Diocese’s declared 4-week “Season of Creation”, we offered a special prayer for our planet:
Generous God. You created us and placed us here to care for for all creation. Forgive us for turning away from you and for neglecting the earth. Raise us up and make us again stewards of your creation that we may see your presence in all that surrounds us: through Christ we pray. Amen.
Additionally, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth again built her sermon around our responsibility for the well-being of God’s creation.
The gospel this week was from Luke 15 – the parable of the lost sheep. She said we have seen and been cautioned by disastrous recent climate events and feel desperation, sadness and worry, especially for our grandchildren. Rev’d Elizabeth asked us to consider how we think God feels about this situation?
The passage read Wednesday from Jeremiah suggests God showed “fierce anger” when he saw the earth was “waste and void”, a consequence of human disobedience. But God is a God of mercy beyond what we have a right to expect. “Each of us is a lost sheep,” she said. “We don’t know what to do in face of climate crisis…We know how God will feel if we do the right thing and are found – the shepherd rejoices and God will too. As the Gospel states ‘there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’ When we find ourselves in tune with God he rejoices. God is creation, the air the water, the land – all of it.”
She reminded us of the wonderful passage in John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
We are created for a purpose. Even the little things we do to fight climate change bring us a step closer to God. “We either add to darkness or light a candle to see God and be guided by God in the way we live.”
Submitted by Patrick Gossage