The 1st of September is upon us heralding a change of season leading us into the meteorological Autumn. We know from our experience of the changing seasons that Nature and the Earth never ceases to bestow its gifts. However, the Season of Creation (SOC) is our opportunity to ‘recognise the good gift’ of creation and to sustain and develop our caring relationship with all created things.
From September 1 to October 4, the Christian family celebrates the good gift of creation. This global celebration began in 1989 with the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s recognition of the Day of Prayer for Creation and is now embraced by the wide ecumenical community. Recognising prayer as a powerful experience and tool to raise awareness and foster transformational relations and ministry. This year’s theme for the 2021 Season of Creation is ‘A Home for All? Renewing the oikos of God’. In launching this Season of Creation the Advisory Committee share that:
It is our hope to work together to develop a larger Biblical and cosmological horizon, not only to be edified by the texts themselves, but to develop a new way to see Scripture, life, and Earth all in the Oikos of God and to acknowledge the wisdom from countless sisters and brothers helping all to renew our world as an interconnected and interdependent global beloved community.
We know through Faith that God’s Spirit is constantly renewing the face of the Earth. In Christ, God calls us to participate in renewing the whole inhabited Earth, safeguarding a place for every creature, and reforming just relationships among all creation. During this liturgical Season of Creation, the ecumenical Christian family calls every household and society to repent and reshape our political, social and economic systems towards just, sustainable economies of life, which respect the life-giving ecological limits of our common home.
We hope that this Season of Creation renews our ecumenical unity, in our baptismal call to care and sustain an ecological turning that will ensure all creatures can find their home to flourish, and participate in renewing the oikos of God. (Season of Creation, Advisory Committee).
About the Logo – Abraham’s Tent
This year’s logo for the Season of Creation is Abraham’s tent, symbolizing “A home for all”. Abraham and Sarah opened their tent as a home for three strangers, who turned out to be God’s angels (Genesis 18). By creating a home for all, their act of radical hospitality became a source of great blessing. Abraham’s tent is a symbol of our ecumenical call to practice creation care as an act of radical hospitality, safeguarding a place for all creatures, human and more human, in our common home, the household (oikos) of God.
Oikos is a Greek word for the Earth community based on the understanding that every creature belongs to this Earth community. Oikos is the root of the word oikoumene, or ecumenical, which describes our ‘common home’, as Pope Francis calls it in Laudato Si’. Our common home, the Earth belongs to God, and each beloved creature belongs to this common oikos.
By rooting the theme for this year’s Season of Creation in the concept of oikos, we are pointed to the integral web of relationships that sustain the well-being of the Earth. The word ecology (oikologia) describes the relationships between animals, plants, non-sentient organisms and minerals that each play a vital role in maintaining the balance of this beloved community.
Each creature is important and contributes to the health and resilience of the biodiverse ecosystem in which it lives. Humans belong in the right relationship within this Earth community. We are made from the same stuff of the Earth, and are cared for by our co-creatures and the land.
Season of Creation 2021 Prayer
Creator of All,
We are grateful that from your communion of love you created our planet to be a home for all.
By your Holy Wisdom you made the Earth to bring forth a diversity of living beings that filled the soil, water and air.
Each part of creation praises you in their being, and cares for one another from our place in the web of life.
With the Psalmist, we sing your praise that in your house “even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young.”
We remember that you call human beings to keep your garden in ways
that honour the dignity of each creature and conserve their place in the abundance of life on Earth.
But we know that our will to power pushes the planet beyond her limits.
Our consumption is out of harmony and rhythm with Earth’s capacity to heal herself.
Habitats are left barren or lost.
Species are lost and systems fail.
Where reefs and burrows, mountaintops and ocean deeps once teemed with life and relationships,
wet and dry deserts lie empty, as if uncreated.
Human families are displaced by insecurity and conflict, migrating in search of peace.
Animals flee fires, deforestation and famine,
wandering in search of a new place to find a home to lay their young and live.
In this Season of Creation,
we pray that the breath of your creative Word would move our hearts,
as in the waters of our birth and baptism.
Give us faith to follow Christ to our just place in the beloved community.
Enlighten us with the grace to respond to your covenant and call
to care for our common home.
In our tilling and keeping,
gladden our hearts to know that we participate with your Holy Spirit
to renew the face of your Earth,
and safeguard a home for all.
In the name of the One who came to proclaim good news to all creation, Jesus Christ.
(Note: the content of this post is based on extracts from the content of an inspirational resource guide prepared by the SeasonofCreation.org “2021 Celebration Guide A Home for All? Renewing the Oikos of God” see 2021-SOC-Full-Guide Season of Creation
You can also download this and a range of other resources see Resources – Season of Creation
You are invited to join the conversation by using the Season of Creation hashtags #SeasonOfCreation #SOC2021 in your own publications, and to share the content posted by the official Season of Creation channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Activate on social media and unite to this annual celebration of prayer and action for our common home!