The theme for this year’s Season of Creation is “Jubilee for the Earth.” In the book of Leviticus, the prophet says: You shall consecrate the 50th year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you. You shall return to your property and to your family. You shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. (Leviticus 25).
The word “Jubilee” comes from the Hebrew word yobel, which means the “ram's horn trumpet,” and in this case was used to call the people to celebrate the fruits of the land, after which they would leave it fallow for the next year. In this 2020 Season of Creation, a year unforgettable because of Covid 19, we are called, as people of faith, to sound a voice of hope, as in a Jubilee and take a deeper look at our land, our common home.
While the pandemic swept across our planet and Covid numbers spiked with the resultant deaths, losses and economic crises, at the same time forest fires, draught, floods, and tornados shocked us with their severity. Everything seemed to come in enormous proportions and our world and everything in it was out of balance. We find ourselves lamenting as we simultaneously hear both the groaning of humanity and cries of creation. How can we possibly think of this Season of Creation now beginning with any sense of a jubilee celebration?
More than 40 years ago on the journey to the moon, astronauts turned around and beheld the earth as a WHOLE for the first time. These human beings had a new perspective. This view also brought with it a feeling of fragility because the earth appeared small in relation to the solar system. One astronaut said, “The first day we all pointed to our own countries. The third day we were pointing at our own continents. By the fifth day we were all aware of only one earth,” our common home! This understanding deepens our awareness of our relationship with our world, with each other and with God. Our neighbors are global and the earth is in our care. A new spirituality is born of this understanding in which the earth is a place where the Creator calls us to be co-creators as God’s spirit renews the face of the earth.
So let us begin these reflections by looking at the 3 governing principles of our universe, this week starting with differentiation or God’s wonderful gift of diversity. Did you ever notice how much God loves difference? No two people are the same, no two trees are the same; there are 1000s of species of various insects and birds; no two zebras are the same. A baby zebra recognizes its mother by her stripes, which are different from any other zebra’s. Our cosmos is overflowing with superabundance, awesome colors and combinations, microscopic or immense. Our creator God never runs out of ideas, our God marvels and delights in the act of creation and invites us to join in this process. This week notice the diversity around you. Stop! Take a long, deep look! Really see!
- Note the plants and scrubs in your yard or the vegetables you planted.
- See the ever changing cloud formations or the glorious sunrise or sunset colors
- Listen to the birdsong, feel the soft breeze or hear the strong wind blowing in the trees
- Note the family resemblances yet differences in the features of your children or grandchildren
In this little Sabbath space or jubilee rest, thank God for the gift of creation, for the earth and its wonders, for the amazement it awakens in your heart. All of this is ours, OUR HOME. God has placed it all in OUR CARE.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUD9Yixh6KU&feature=emb_rel_end (video explaining the Season of Creation)