18th August 2022 | Dave Bookless | 1 comments

Listen to the Voice of Creation

Season of Creation 2022

The Season of Creation runs from 1 September to 4 October each year, as a time for churches around the world to celebrate, pray and act to protect God’s creation, our common home. It’s become a huge global event, supported by all the major Christian denominations and networks, and for several years A Rocha has been part of both the steering group and the advisory committee, helping choose the theme and produce resources. The dates include Harvest in many parts of the world and conclude with St Francis’ day. Each year, there’s a Celebration Guide with resources including sermon notes for each Sunday linked to the Revised Common Lectionary, and ideas for local activities and wider campaigns. The Celebration Guide can be found here and other resources including in different languages here. This year’s Season of Creation begins with an online service at which Dave Bookless will be speaking, on 1 September at 09:00 NYC / 14:00 BST / 15:00 Rome / 19:00 Manila.

This year’s theme is Listen to the Voice of Creation, with an image of a burning bush. In Exodus 3, Moses heard God’s voice speaking from a bush that was on fire but not consumed, and he removed his shoes, recognizing holy ground. Today, wildfires (which have been part of natural ecological processes in many places) are now an increasing threat as their frequency and severity are amplified by human-induced climate change. What might God be saying to us today through these fires that consume and destroy with terrifying unpredictability?

Creation speaks in many ways, but like Jesus taking time apart in the wilderness, we have to tune in to hear the voice of creation because it speaks without words.

‘The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.’
Psalm 19:1-4a

In today’s world, words can overwhelm us. Too many voices on multiple channels. But nature speaks to us on a different wavelength, proclaiming God’s glory without words, as Psalm 19 so beautifully expresses. During the pandemic, many people around the world found solace, comfort and perspective within creation. What is God saying through creation about our priorities and values? What is God revealing about His own character, glory and purpose?

Of course, God’s creation also groans in both agony and hope, longing to be set free from its bondage to decay, and longing for God’s children to be revealed (Romans 8:19-22). We can see signs of creation’s groaning in the melting of glaciers, the bleaching of corals, the falling of great trees, the poisoning of oceans, the creeping advance of deserts, and the disappearance of once familiar species from our local area. In addition, the human victims of nature’s depletion and climate chaos cry out to us for repentance, justice and reparations. They are also part of the groaning of God’s creation. As creation groans, does it unlock a deep pain within our hearts and drive us to weep, intercede and act?

So, do join in and get local churches to take part. Let us listen to the voice of God’s creation!

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Categories: Reflections
About Dave Bookless

Dave is Director of Theology for A Rocha International, where he works to embed creation care into international Christian organizations, theological institutions, and mission movements. His past roles with A Rocha include being an International Trustee and the co-founder of A Rocha UK (with his wife Anne). He has a PhD from Cambridge University on biblical theology and biodiversity conservation, and has contributed to many books and articles, including Planetwise, available in six languages. Born and raised in India, Dave has a love for Indian food, Indian culture and Indian Christianity. Dave is also a qualified bird-ringer and loves birding, islands, running and mountains.

View all posts by Dave Bookless (76)

One response to “Listen to the Voice of Creation”

  1. Chris Wells says:

    Thanks Dave, for your great message!