Monday, September 02, 2013

Towards Sunday, September 8, 2013

Series:       Listening to Creation (Season of Creation)
Scripture:  Psalm 148 and Romans 8:18-27
Sermon:     Enjoy My Songs (and join in when you want)

One night last week I sat outside in the dark listening to the cicadas in the trees of the escarpment behind our house.  The sound was intense and unremitting, and of such beauty that it made me also aware of the deep and restful silence of Earth into which it was offered as a chorus of praise through that night.  I could not help but know -- and be thankful, that I am part of something larger and more majestic than myself, and that it is good.

At that moment I was consciously thankful for ears to hear, and for darkness in which to hear more clearly.  I also thought about how often and in how many ways we close our ears daily against the sounds and songs of Creation, choosing instead to listen to lesser songs and sounds of our design in our homes, in our cars, at work, and even when we walk, run and ride.  Do we become what we listen to?

The next six weeks might be a lot of fun at Fifty.  We celebrate the Season of Creation -- a relatively new liturgical season of the six weeks ending with Thanksgiving Sunday, which is focused on that one wonderful line in our New Creed "to live with respect in Creation."  Especially in a place like Winona and the edge of Niagara, and with people so opened to the life of Earth, this can be a great time for us together on Sunday mornings! 

Each week's worship focus is a different request that we can imagine Earth making of us.  This week's is "Enjoy My Songs (and join in when you want)."

Psalm 148 is a magnificent recitation of the variety of ways in which Earth in all its parts offers unending songs of praise to God.  The verses from Romans 8 are a reminder that not all of Earth's singing is joyful, though; Earth also groans for redemption and healing.  And the live question in both readings is how we join in on Earth's songs.  What part are we given to sing in what Annie Dillard so wonderfully calls "the general chorus"? 

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