All photos and writing by June Friesen; Scriptures from The Message Translation.
THEME: “Listen to the voice of creation” is the theme and invitation of this year’s Season of Creation. In his message for the World Day of Prayer 2022, Pope Francis calls us to use the season to “cultivate our ecological conversion” and to pray together in “the great cathedral of Creation”. (taken from a website on World Day of Prayer for Creation)
World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is September 1, 2022. This annual day, established by Pope Francis in 2015, is an opportunity to pray, reflect and act to care for God’s creation.
“We can hear the planet’s “cries of anguish”, Pope Francis said in his message for the celebration of World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, set to take place on 1 September. Mother earth, he said, “implores us to put an end to our abuses and to her destruction ”’ (taken from a website on World Day of Prayer for Creation)
So, one may wonder – how can creation talk to us? Plants are a major part of creation, and they are basically silent. And while the plant/plants themselves are silent at most times they can make themselves felt/heard with stings, pokes, etc. And if they are ignored such as they do not receive proper nutrients, water, light and temperatures their growth is stunted, disease may set in and they may just die. Another part of creation is animals, and one may ask, “how do animals talk to us?” Or can animals talk and/or communicate with us and if they do how? As an animal lover and one who grew up on a farm let me tell you animals can communicate and depending on the kind and size of the animal, they can at times be very vocal. I have seen animals vocalize if they sense it is feeding time. Young calves will head butt, nuzzle and try their best to communicate their need for milk or water. Dogs will bark, birds will chirp, cats meow to name a few. Animals also can also let us know they care about us or if they dislike us. As I am writing this, I am also reminded that the weather can communicate at times too so it is heard with heavy winds, rain, hail, thunder etc. In our country especially we hear about how we should pay attention to the weather and how we may improve on some of the issues at hand.
In Psalms 145 and 65 the Psalmist addresses the wonder and beauty of creation and how it gives praise to God.
9 God is good to one and all; everything he does is soaked through with grace.
10-11 Creation and creatures applaud you, God; your holy people bless you.
They talk about the glories of your rule, they exclaim over your splendor…
9-13 Oh, visit the earth, ask her to join the dance!
Deck her out in spring showers, fill the God-River with living water.
Paint the wheat fields golden. Creation was made for this!
Drench the plowed fields, soak the dirt clods with rainfall as harrow and rake bring her to blossom and fruit.
Snow-crown the peaks with splendor, scatter rose petals down your paths,
All through the wild meadows, rose petals.
Set the hills to dancing, dress the canyon walls with live sheep,
a drape of flax across the valleys.
Let them shout, and shout, and shout!
Oh, oh, let them sing!
Oh my, those words just make me want to go and find a beautiful place in nature and dance and sign praise and glory to God for all the beauty everywhere. You may wonder, well, I live in the big city and do not see much to get excited about. I have not yet been to a city that did not have parks, go to a park – walk or run or sit or lie down or put your toes in a stream if there is one – watch for birds, watch for bugs, watch for children at play, watch the clouds, etc. Imagine God creating or being involved at that moment in whatever you are observing – and how can you be involved in embracing it or maybe even improving it. And if there is something(s) that need correction or attention if you cannot do it let someone know who can. Meanwhile, say a thank you prayer to the Creator for being able to embrace His beautiful creation.
104 1-14 O my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are! Beautifully, gloriously robed, dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps, made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings. You commandeered winds as messengers, appointed fire and flame as ambassadors. You set earth on a firm foundation so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean, covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away— your thunder crash put it to flight.
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea; never again will earth be flooded.
You started the springs and rivers, sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill, wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Along the riverbanks the birds build nests, ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly reservoirs; earth is supplied with plenty of water. You make grass grow for the livestock, hay for the animals that plow the ground.
14-23 Oh yes, God brings grain from the land, wine to make people happy,
Their faces glowing with health, a people well-fed and hearty.
God’s trees are well-watered— the Lebanon cedars he planted.
Birds build their nests in those trees; look—the stork at home in the treetop.
Mountain goats climb about the cliffs; badgers burrow among the rocks.
The moon keeps track of the seasons, the sun is in charge of each day.
When it’s dark and night takes over, all the forest creatures come out.
The young lions roar for their prey, clamoring to God for their supper.
When the sun comes up, they vanish, lazily stretched out in their dens.
Meanwhile, men and women go out to work, busy at their jobs until evening.
24-30 What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide sea, brimming with fish past counting, sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters, and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around; you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back, they’d die in a minute—Take back your Spirit and they die,
revert to original mud; Send out your Spirit and they spring to life—
the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.
WOW! Just wow! I was going to only put part of this Psalm in but I could not – and my heart just wants to burst with praise as I read this and realize the wonder of all creation and to embrace a God who had the ability to create it all and then to create humankind with the ability to care for as well as find sustenance from creation. So today I share a prayer with you for Creation.
PRAYING FOR AND WITH CREATION
For the tall trees, with leaves, needles, seed pods and more I thank You God,
For the flowers so many kinds, shapes, colors, fragrances and all-around beauty I thank You God,
For the grasses and reeds and even the things I call weeds, I thank You God,
For the fruits and nuts a plenty for humanity and animals alike, I thank You God,
For the forests, the woods, the mountainsides and cliffs, I thank You God,
For the rivers, the lakes, the streams, the oceans and oh yes, God those awesome waterfalls, I thank you God,
For the sandy shores where I can sit, make sand castles, and breathe fresh air, I thank You God,
For the veggies like peas, carrots, beans, lettuce, tomatoes and so much more I thank You God,
For the peaches, pears, strawberries, apples, and oranges so many more, I thank You God,
For all the grains like corn, wheat, barley and oats, I thank You God,
For the gardens, farms, orchards, fields and yes, the green houses too, I thank You God,
For the birds that sing and fly through the skies, I thank You God,
For the birds that give us eggs as well as meat, I thank You God,
For the bees that pollinate our fields and make us honey so sweet, I thank You God,
For the butterflies that also pollinate but also beautify our world, I thank You God,
For the animals so many, I thank You God,
For the cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats that supply us with meat and milk, I thank You God,
For the horses, dogs, domestic cats that provide pleasure and companionship, I thank You God,
For the fish, the seal, the whales, the anemone in the oceans I thank You God,
For the lions, tigers, camels, elephants, foxes and wolves I thank You God.
God, I am sure that there is something in Your vast creation I have missed today but what a blessing it is to be able to sit with You embracing and praising You for Your great creation. And now may I not walk away from this day to forget all these beautiful treasures that I enjoy but rather to remember to care for each part of it as best that I can to bring honor and glory to You wherever I am.
Did you know? If you visit our Seasons and Blessings Resource Page, there is a whole section on Back-to-School resources listed under the Autumn column! We have gathered prayers and practical resources to help you mentally and spiritually prepare yourself and your kids for the school year ahead. You might also enjoy checking out this free downloadable book of prayers for children, found in our shop.