Priest's Perspective

3 September 2020 – A jubilee for the earth

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly (prudently) with your God. (Micah 6:8 NIV)

A jubilee for the earth

( message from the Members of the Season of Creation Advisory Committee)

You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to

all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you. (Leviticus 25:10, NASB)

This year, the global reach of the novel coronavirus revealed our shared human nature and the inter-connectivity of our economies, political structures, health care systems, food production chains, energy and transportation systems in devastating ways. The pandemic also demonstrated that the entire web is rooted in the Earth and limited by the earths capacity sustain our economic and ecological demands. The unique effects of climate change are a consequence of our inability to find a sustainable balance of this web. During the Season of Creation, we unite as one family in Christ, celebrating the bonds we share with each other and with “every living creature on earth” (Genesis 9:10) The Christian family celebrates the season by spending time in prayer, considering ways to inhabit our common home sustainably, and lifting our voices in the public sphere. The scriptures begin with God’s affirmation that all creation is “very good” (Genesis 1:31) As co-creatures and caretakers of God’s creation, human beings are called to protect and nurture its goodness. (Genesis 2:15, Jeremiah 29:5-7) Our vocation to protect and nurture life relates to the sustainability of ecological, economic, social and political systems. A just balance between these aspects of life must be maintained for the health of the Earth and all creatures.

According to this wisdom the Law of Moses included provisions for the Sabbath. On the seventh day of each week, God’s people were free from the need to produce or consume.  The rest was extended to animals, and the land itself, honouring the Creator by allowing creation to rest. Following the seventh, seventh (49th) year, God’s people were to dedicate a year to this ecological, social and economic restorative justice. A Jubilee for the Earth.

As we live into a post-COVID-19 world, can we imagine new just and sustainable ways of living that give the Earth the rest it requires, that satisfy everyone with enough that restore habitats and renews biological diversity?

May Holy Wisdom inspire our imagination. In the hope born of grace, we pray that the Lord who is our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer will touch our hearts and that of the human family this Season of Creation.’

Let us pray

Inspire us today oh Lord to reorder our lives and to embrace your pattern of Sabbath rest and a Jubilee for the earth.

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