For the past year, I have been editing a quarterly publication called With Love to the World. It provides short commentaries on the biblical passages offered in the Revised Common Lectionary, which is used by mainstream denominations of the Christian church around the world. The four passages offered each week are read in worship and one or more of them usually form the basis for the sermon in that service of worship. The publication seeks to prepare people to think about the passages in the week before they hear them in Sunday worship.
Recently, I have been working with material submitted by a group of contributors who have been working with the four lectionary passages, and an additional three biblical texts which feed into the overall theme of Creation. These passages have been chosen because this theme is the focus for the month of September each year.
This year, I have expanded the theme to include, not only the four Sundays of September, but also the weeks around September, from Pentecost 11 (in mid August) through to Pentecost 23, just before the festival of the Reign of Christ brings the church year to an end in November.
As a complement to the four passages offered each week from the Revised Common Lectionary (Hebrew Scripture, Psalm, Epistle, and Gospel), a further three passages are included in each week’s selection of seven passages for reading and reflection. These additional three passages are all drawn from Hebrew Scriptures, which have their origins in a culture and society which was closely connected to the land, where people lived in harmony with the annual cycle of agricultural seasons. Their intimate knowledge of land, sea, and sky is reflected in the understanding of animals, fish, and birds, and in the knowledge of “events of nature”.
This extended Season of Creation issue of With Love to the World is intended to assist readers to grapple with how their lifestyle and their personal practices cohere with the need to respect the creation and to live a life that lessens their carbon footprint. Scripture encourages and challenges us in this regard. The series of passages through the 13 weeks are intended to build a strong understanding of God’s love for the creation, and God’s expectation that people of faith will live with ecological responsibility.
The 14 contributors are theologically-astute, environmentally-active people from five states across the continent, who have written thoughtful and informed commentaries on the passages for the week. The issue begins with a reflection on the creation story of Genesis 1 from a First Peoples perspective. Each week, a different writer invites us to consider how scripture informs our discipleship and can shape our environmental awareness and action.
If you are looking for a way to focus your thinking on how to live in harmony with the whole creation, and deepen your discipleship practices of sustainability and environmental responsibility, through a daily reflection on a scripture passage—why not subscribe to With Love to the World?
With Love to the World can be ordered as a printed resource for just $24 for a year’s subscription (see http://www.withlovetotheworld.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Ordering-and-paying-for-Website-7.vii_.2020.pdf) or it can be accessed on phones and iPads via an App, for a subscription of $24.49 per year (go to the App Store or Google Play).
For a discussion of the biblical passages used in the Creation 2022 issue, see https://johntsquires.com/2022/05/29/the-season-of-creation-in-with-love-to-the-world/
Rev. Dr John Squires
Editor, With Love to the World
0408 024 642