Monday, August 22, 2022

Creation Season


The Season of Creation, which runs from 1 September to 4 October each year, is that part of the church calendar dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of life. The great poem of Genesis chapter 1 is a text of many layers, enabling us to discover something new each time we go there; but as we approach Creation Season, I am reflecting on it as a curriculum of habitat, the study of God preparing a home for all life.

First, the vocation of light (day) and dark (night). Of habitats for diurnal and nocturnal animals (and diurnal plants that unfold their petals with the unfolding light, and twist to track the sun through the course of the day, before folding their petals again for sleep). Day and night, of course, are not binary, and this first work of creation also creates habitats for crepuscular animals, both matutinal (active at dawn) and vespertine (active at dusk).

Second, the vocation of the water cycle. Of (ice and) fresh water, saline water, atmospheric water. Of evaporation, condensation, precipitation. The processes of producing and sustaining the 1% accessible freshwater life depends on, as well as directly shaping the lifecycle of some animals, such as frogs that spend most of their life sleeping buried in mud, waiting the rains and the release of tadpoles that will grow into frogs by the time their pool evaporates.

Third, the vocation of land (and plants) and seas. Again, these are not binary, but meet and flow into one another. Forests and grasslands and semi-arid zones and deserts and icesheets. Marshes and estuaries and intertidal zones and reefs.

Fourth, the vocation of sun, moon and stars as markers and guardians of the seasons. Of aestivation (animals that sleep through the summer months) and hibernation.

Fifth, the vocation of marine biodiversity and birds. Of krill, and great migratory whales; migratory swallows; and category-defying penguins and ostriches.

Sixth, the vocation of land animals and, last to appear on the scene, people. Of migratory butterflies and zebra; migratory domesticated cattle, and their migratory nomadic herders. Of human ethnic diversity, and the many ways we have made our home in different habitats.

Seventh, the vocation of rest. God moves from care for creation—a home for every living thing—to enjoying, delighting in, creation. And God draws humans to first delight in creation, that we might care for creation.


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