What Is the Season of Creation?Norman Habel gives us part of the history; here's an excerpt:
For four Sundays in September, prior to St Francis of Assisi Day, we join in celebrating with Christ the wonders of creation. In the liturgy, we follow the lead of the psalm writers and celebrate with creation — with the forests, the rivers and the fields, which praise the Creator in their own way. Bible readings focus especially on the story of Earth, which complements the story of God and the story of humanity in the Scriptures. We commit ourselves to a ministry of healing Earth, with Christ and creation as our partners.
The season of Creation begins as an Australian story. I, like many in our Lutheran Church in Australia, grew up in the bush. I climbed every tree within miles. I felt close to creation: the soil, the streams and the sounds of the bush. Celebrating the creation I love has long been one of my dreams.
season of creation 1c: Ocean Sunday
Call to Worship
leader: As we gather for worship today in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, let us bless the Lord for the bounty of creation, the mercy of redemption and the hope of a new creation.
response: We bless you Lord God, for the wonder and majesty of sun, moon, stars and seas, for all of earth's abundance, for the love of Jesus Christ and for the gift of the Spirit in our midst.
leader: Today on Ocean Sunday we especially remember your provision of water ranging from deeps of the primal creation, to rivers that flowed from Eden, through streets of the new Jerusalem. On this Ocean Sunday we also acknowledge and repent of ways we have squandered and spoiled gifts you called us to care for.
response: We admit our sin and wrongfulness in behaviors that have harmed the waters, that have hurt creatures who live in the oceans and rivers and have broken the lives of humans who depend on water for income, nutrition, sustenance and health. We especially repent of the complicity, ignorance and greed that led to the recent disaster in the Gulf Coast region of the United States of America. We ask for your forgiveness as we resolve to start over with new awareness and sensitivity, that we might live as bringers of the new creation.
leader: In gratitude and in hope we remember, retell and reappropriate stories of gifts of water that carried Noah's ark to salvation, that splashed from the rock in the exodus desert, that became the boundary of promised land freedom, that in baptism is the tomb of our death and womb of our new life in Jesus Christ.
God of glorious love, your Word calls forth the mystery and magnificence of creation! We ask that you would make us faithful stewards and caretakers of your gifts, especially brooks, creeks, seas, and glaciers, that all might be redeemed, live and thrive to give life to others, through Jesus Christ, who was baptized in the waters of the River Jordan, became living water to the world and sends us forth to baptize by water, Word and Spirit. Amen!
The Lord be with you.This is a day of hope! This is a time to celebrate the gift of water, to recall and reclaim the redemption of everything there is!
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is joy to offer thanks and praise!
Lord God, you laid the foundation of the earth and set firm its cornerstone;
You were there when the morning stars sang together;
You commanded the morning, and showed dawn its time of awakening;
Your word formed the springs of the seas and spread out the expanse of the earth with all that grows from it.
You gave a portion of your Spirit to all creation,
and charged humanity with stewardship of the works of your hands.
By water and Word you claimed and baptized us as your people;
You have given us water and bread and fruit of the vine as signs of your presence among us;
You call us and send us to proclaim your gospel of love and justice to all the world.
And so with the company of heaven and with all creation in every time and every place we sing:
Holy are you, God of mercy, glory and love, and blessed is Jesus your son, who lived among us in a body made from stuff of the earth.With the Church in all the ages we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Jesus died for the redemption of all creation,
and was raised from death for the life of the world.
He ascended to reign in justice and righteousness over everything his Word had created.
Come, Spirit of Holiness; come upon all creation everywhere and upon this assembly of saints;Dying you destroyed our death;On the night of betrayal and desertion, our Lord Jesus took bread; when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
Rising you restored our life;
Lord Jesus, come in glory!"This is my body, broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me."In the same way after supper, he also took the cup, saying,"This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again in glory.
Come, Holy Spirit; sanctify these gifts of grain and grape uniting us with all creation in every time and every place;
Come, Spirit of Life and bless our feasting at this table of reconciliation and renewal,
That baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
in the power of the Spirit we may daily live as the gracious presence of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.
Glory and thanks
dominion and righteousness be to God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
endlessly throughout eternity,
© leah chang 2010