As usual this year we celebrated Creationtide on Epiphany Island. It’s a wonderful chance to exploit the creative possibilities of Second Life, and the creativity of our church warden, Ana. Creationtide ends on 4th October, which is St Francis’ Day. The readings that day were Psalm 19; Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20; Matthew 21:33-46. The sermon is given below.
The season of Creationtide is upon us, as you can probably tell from your surroundings. This is not a season that has been celebrated for centuries, such as Lent and Holy Week. It is very much a new initiative in church terms which has come from 1989 recognition of the Day of Prayer for Creation by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It is now celebrated by many churches worldwide.
Every year a theme is chosen by the ecumenical committee from around the world. This year the theme is Jubilee for the Earth. Jubilee is currently used with the meaning of an anniversary celebration, particularly for a monarch. Everyday use doesn’t come anywhere near the meaning of the word in the Bible. The Israelites were commanded to let the land rest every seventh year. The jubilee year was a rest after seven lots of seven years: ‘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). The land was allowed to rest, anyone enslaved because of debt was freed in this year and lands that had been sold because of debt were returned to their previous owners. This helped to alleviate poverty and remove inequality. It was this idea which was behind the Jubilee 2000 campaign to cancel unpayable debt. This was not just an anniversary party; it brought about significant change for people and the environment. Every year, Christians around the world are called to consider how we can live in a way that is best for the Earth and its inhabitants.