Learning to Live… Through Jesus, Our Neighbours and Each Other

EVERY CREATURE SINGING (1)

Then I heard  every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, singing, “To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might  forever and ever!”  (REVELATION 5:13-14)

This Sunday we begin a four part series of worship entitled EVERY CREATURE SINGING.  Our impetus for this series comes from the Mennonite Care Creation Network (MCCN) which is a binational Christian group affiliated with Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA.

MCCN encourages the Church to:

Claim its biblical and theological foundation regarding the care of God’s Creation.

Discover the ties that link all created beings to each other and to God.

Confess the harm we have caused the natural world and our neighbours.

Act faithfully to restore the earth.

The weather has been much in the news these past weeks:  hurricanes and earthquakes are the most prominent, but also of concern are extended periods of drought in parts of Africa, killing heat waves in Asia, and the melting polar ice cap.

This week we will begin our series with reflections on Psalm 104, one of the great creation accounts in the Old Testament.  (By the way, did you know there are at least seven creation texts in the OT?  More on that to come.)  I invite you to read the excerpts below or better, take time to read the entire psalm on your own before Sunday.  What do you notice about this psalm?  How does it differ from Genesis 1?  What does this psalm say about human beings?  About God?

Bless the Lord, O my soul.                                                                                  

O Lord my God, you are very great.                                                                        

You are clothed with honour and majesty,                                                                        

wrapped in light as with a garment….

You set the earth on its foundations,                                                                  

so that it shall never be shaken….

By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;                                             

they sing among the branches… 

From your lofty abode you water the mountains;                                                              

the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work….

You cause the grass to grow for cattle,                                                               

and plants for people to use,                                                                                                       

to bring forth food from the earth,                                                                        

and wine to gladden the human heart….

The young lion roar for their prey,                                                                

seeking their food from God.                                                                                                              

When the sun rises, they withdraw                                                                               

and lie down in their dens.                                                                                                              

People go out to their work                                                                                                                           

and to their labour until the evening…  

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.

There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.                                               

These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground….

Bless the Lord, O my soul.  Praise the Lord! 

For the next several weeks I will be sending out blogs under the title of EVERY CREATURE SINGING.  It will feature scripture, some photos, readings, even poetry helping us to reflect on our beautiful world and our stewardship of it.  Also, on the blog is a button called SUMMER PICTURES.  These feature photos taken by our church members this past summer.  Enjoy.

I close with a few lines from poet Mary Oliver.

MESSENGER

My work is loving the world.                                                                               

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird –                                                       

equal seekers of sweetness.                                                                           

 Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.                                                    

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old?  Is my coat torn?                                                                     

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect?  Let me                                         

keep my mind on what matters,                                                                     

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be                                        

astonished…. 

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