This excerpt is from the third in our series during Creation Time. What does it mean to “live with respect in Creation” as we say in A New Creed, when we live in the city? This week was a chance to reflect on the “Responsibility” side of the question. Of course, there is far too much to say on this topic, which relates to so many justice issues, although we focused on the intersection between climate justice and poverty/income-disparity. Another reason there is far too much to say is because there is both much good work already been done – and very actively in this congregation! – and also so much more that is necessary. Our scripture readings today were: Genesis 2:4b-23, Psalm 1, and Romans 8:18-25. Perhaps because there is far too much to say, I am keeping the excerpt brief.
In the Romans passage today, we hear about creation groaning and creation waiting with eager longing. We hear that creation suffers, not through its own fault, but a suffering brought about upon it. In our context, we hear these words of Paul as ones that speak truthfully about our responsibility, our part in the suffering of creation groaning, creation longing for salvation. It is worth noting that neither this notion of suffering and responsibility, nor this notion of salvation is individualized. Instead, it is collective. It is about our collective responsibility, our collective role. It comes from our interconnectedness. So often in our society, faith is individualized, reduced to personal actions or intellectual beliefs, and we lose our sense of the role we have in all of this together. So, creation groans, creation waits with longing, and we hear it aware of our collective responsibility, and we know in our time that creation suffers…
Be sure, also, to take a look at some of the ways the congregation is responding to this Creation Time in the post “Creation and the City: The Congregation Reflects” – beautiful words and images!