Diocese of Manchester

Trees stretching up towards the sky

The second theme we are exploring for #MoreThanSunday is Creation.

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Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Psalm 150:6 (NIV)

Podcast episode three: Creation

Reflection

Often reflections on creation start with the bigger picture. There is so much of all that has been created from the strong, old and magnificent trees, seas and rivers, earth and sky, etc. Disciples will want to have a prayerful grasp on all that God has made in all the world, inclusive of animal life, human life, plant life and all that we have been gifted in order to co-create, which increases the blessedness of creation to include ‘art and culture’. Creation is enormous and we bless the Lord for everything that is made.

But it can feel so overwhelming that the best we can do sometimes is give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. Bigger picture thinking can be informative, but scary. We want to be aware of all of creation, but we are not sure how. There is just so much to consider.

But like a more easily digestible form of a fresh pineapple, let’s consider creation in more bite-sized chunks. What is in the detail? Who can we look to, to help us look closer?

The life of St Francis can help us on that journey. He shared a kindred spirit with rest of creation, seeing it not as something to subdue, but as something to share. He could speak of Brother Moon and Sister Sun. This suggests a more integrated discipleship than we perhaps experience in our modern cultures. We have taken so seriously the big picture of subduing and stewarding the earth that we are no longer friends with creation. We know longer see the land as sacred – belonging to God – as our ancestors once did.

How can we befriend creation, so that it becomes truly a part of us – a part of the diverse family that God has created? Is there a space in our lives, as disciples of Christ, to rebuild a close relationship with creation, in the same way we would seek to rebuild, within a fractured family? The best in us will want to reach out to reconcile with all our family members and to make it right again.

Just as we are trying to repair the serious damage we have done and continue to inflict on our planet, so too, the groaning of creation, spiritually and physically is crying out to be repaired, and also wanting to be friends with us. In other words, if we start to love everything as God does, we start to see and really believe that everything is good. I have never met a tree that didn’t want to be my friend: creating oxygen, offering shelter, strengthening the earth, and providing food.

Jesus prays for his disciples that we should all be one – we should pray this prayer repetitively too, with a prayerful determination of unity for all people and all things. Could we dare pray with all of creation for such a family that is inclusive of all that God has made?

The Ven. Karen Lund, Archdeacon of Manchester

Suggested actions

  • Organise a litter pick in your local park or public space
  • Cut down your car use by taking public transport, walking or cycling
  • Try out some vegetarian and vegan meals
  • Write to your MP
  • Sign up for Echo Church with A Rocha

Hear from one of our disciples, Grace, in the video below. She talks about how her church has brought eco issues into its worship and prayer.

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The Church of England Diocese of Manchester,
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90 Deansgate,
Manchester M3 2GH

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