Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

God’s Glory and the Whole Earth (Psalm 72:16–20)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Week 5: Creation—Not for Sale

Week 5, Day 4

From the “Canticle of the Sun,” ca. 1225, St Francis of Assisi

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,

All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.

To you alone, Most High, do they belong,

and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,

especially Sir Brother Sun,

Who is the day through whom You give us light.

And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,

Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,

In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,

And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,

by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,

So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,

through whom You light the night

and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister, Mother Earth

who sustains and governs us,

producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.

God’s Glory and the Whole Earth (Psalm 72:16–20)

Lena Edlund, Lutheran, Sweden

May there be abundance of grain in the land; may it wave on the tops of the mountains; may its fruit be like Lebanon; and may people blossom in the cities like the grass of the field. May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun. May all nations be blessed in him; may they pronounce him happy. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name forever; may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen. The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended.

Christians often start their spiritual journey by learning about God, the Creator (Gen 1:1), who made day and night, animals and humankind—made them in God’s image to care for God’s creation.

We disappoint God by going against God’s plan for creation (Gen 3:6–7). In all that God has made, God sees goodness; humankind has the ability to do good but we fail over and over again. We dishonor God—life itself. Still things are as they have been since creation: humankind is fully responsible for God’s earth.

Instead of changing our responsibilities, God changes our relationship. God sends Jesus to experience human life. Jesus is the link between heaven and earth, true God and true human. Jesus is both pre- and post-creation (Jn 1:12–3). Christ is the embodiment of a God who outstrips the human perception of God. Our physical link to Christ today is the sacraments—bread, wine and baptism—and they are also a reminder of the calling given to us by our Creator.

How can we live up to God’s calling? First, we should realize that as God is One, we should be one as humankind (1 Cor 12:12). This means God calls all humankind. It also means that we should care not only for all living things and earth itself, but also for all people, regardless of nation or creed—all of humankind.

Where do we begin to take on this huge responsibility?

We start where God started—creation. We honor life. We consume responsibly by not throwing away food; buying locally produced groceries in season; eating less or no meat (God gave us plants and fruits to eat, Gen 1:29, and animals to keep us company, Gen 2:18–19); trying, whenever possible, to buy organic foods or growing them ourselves. There are lots of ways to care for earth.

God, who is relational and, at the same time, living in unity in Godself (Father, Son, Spirit), encourages us to be like God. To strive for relationship and unity, not only with God, but with all of creation (Mk 12:30–31). This is how we truly accept and honor God’s calling: we care for all and all things.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”