God, who made all creation of Love . . .
Gathering Music All Good Gifts (Godspell) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mURti-s0jc
God of all good gifts
gold leaves and crisp air
The rich red of cranberries
And the scant flourish of fall flowers
You are in this place
You call it good
God who made all creation of Love
We who are gathered
Good, you said,
Rest, you said,
Love, you said,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture: Genesis 1:1 – 2:3
This is a long reading that would make for much more copying if it was printed here. Perhaps two people might share the reading from their Bibles. Or everyone could bring their Bible and follow along with the group speaking each time the words, “and God saw that it was good”, appear.
Whatever particular place we live in urban or rural, mountainous or flat, inland or coastal, the whole of creation is also, ‘our place’. It isn’t ours because we own it; it’s ours because we are related to it. Whether we see that relationship as we do one with a pesky uncle with a drinking problem or a with a newborn grandchild, God has given us the particular responsibility to care for this place.
Perhaps we would do better with this responsibility if we let go of the word “it” and found something more beautiful. Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer writes, “As a scientist, I have been trained to refer to our relatives, the plants and the animals … the water and the Earth herself as ‘it,'” [. . .] In the language of her ancestors, her family, the Potawatomi languages, Kimmerer says, “ in the beautiful verb-based language, a language based on being and changing and agency … the whole world is alive.”
When God says, “it was good”, of those things God brought into being, we can imagine that it is the act of creation that bears the word ‘it’. We also need to remember that the beautiful living beings God created out of chaos were each named, in our text, by God, a profound act in this context. Naming in Scripture confers value and intimacy. (In the Genesis 2 creation story, Adam names the animals.)
Whatever we call creation let’s not use this place as though it was a disposable ‘it’. Let’s inhabit it grace-fully as our home, one we share with myriad others. Crisis is upon us precisely because we have not cared for this place God calls good. This is the month of Canadian Thanksgiving. Many of us will sit around tables laden with the gifts of the earth. After dinner we may go for a walk and breathe the crisp fall air. The darkness will bloom, and the moon and stars will offer their beauty. We may say thanks for these gifts. This thanksgiving time let us go deeper. Let us not only speak thanksgiving but become thanksgiving in the grateful way we care for this beautiful, wounded place.
How do you feel when you say the name of someone you love?
Imagine God saying your name?
How might you show your gratitude for the creation God calls good in the way you care for the earth?
Intercessory Prayer (for one’s self and all creation) and The Lord’s Prayer
After some conversations on these questions take a minute or two to write something that’s weighing on your heart, something you want held in prayer, on your piece of paper.
If there are only two of you, just exchange your papers. If there are several, put your papers in the middle of the table where each person picks one randomly to take home. Each day take a moment to just pause and bring the person or place or situation on this prayer to mind, offering them to God’s care, imagining them in God’s Love. You don’t have to say anything
Changing the Light
Nourished by this time together
May we know ourselves blessed
By the generous grace of the Son
The lavish love of the Father
The profound and playful presence of the Spirit.
Quotations in this paragraph from Why is the World So Beautiful? , a CBC Interview with Robin Wall Kimmerer