Week 1

The Glory of God’s Creation

Revelation comes in two volumes — the Bible and nature. — Thomas Aquinas

God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and flowers and the clouds and starts.  — Martin Luther

Opening Prayer:  “God of unchangeable power, when you fashioned the world the morning stars sang together and the host of heaven shouted for joy; open our eyes to the wonders of the creation and teach us to see all things for good, to the honor of your glorious name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (New Zealand Book of Common Prayer at 569).

Sources of Theological Understanding of God’s Creation

  • Bible
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • Hymnal
  • Theological writings
  • Literature & Poetry
  • Nature
  • Spiritual practices

Why Lent?

  • BCP: Lent is a time of “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” (Invitation to Lent, page 265); From the Litany of Penitence: “We confess to  you, Lord,. . . Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people; . . . Accept our repentance, Lord, . . . For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us.” (page 268)
  • “Our current environmental challenges call us to ongoing forms of repentance: we must turn ourselves around, and come to think, feel, and act in new ways.  Ancient wisdom and spiritual disciplines from our faith offer deep resources to help address this environmental crisis.  Time-honored practices of fasting, Sabbath-keeping, and Christ-centered mindfulness bear particular promise for our time.”  From A Pastoral Teaching from the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church (2011).

“Homework” :  Bring a favorite Bible passage, hymn, poem, photograph or other indication of God’s love of creation.

Update:  These are the “homework” readings that participants shared at our second meeting:

  • St. Francis, Canticle of the Sun
  • Mary Oliver, Morning Poem
  • John O’Donohue, Selection from To Bless the Space Between Us
  • “Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” — St. Augustine
  • “We assume that everything’s becoming more efficient, and in an immediate sense that’s true; our lives are better in many ways. But that improvement has been gained through a massively inefficient use of natural resources.” — Paul Hawken

Closing Prayer:  Prayer for Joy in God’s Creation (BCP at 814)

O heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty;
Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works;
that, rejoicing in your whole creation, we may learn to serve you with gladness;
for the sake of him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.