World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation Kicks off the Season of Creation

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The Season of Creation runs from September 1 to October 4, beginning with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation kicking off the Season of Creation.

What is the Season of Creation?

The Season of Creation begins with The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September 1. The Season of Creation is a time of sustained prayer and action which continues for a month and four days, ending on October 4.

This celebration began in 1989 among the world Orthodox Christian community. It was led by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who subsequently picked up the moniker “The Green Patriarch.”

Bartholomew issued an encyclical calling for all to dwell in harmony with God’s creation.

“As part of the observation of the Time for Creation, Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, has once again sent an encyclical to remind churches and people of good will about the grave risks deriving from growing abuse of energy resources, threatening to increase global warming and the sustainability of the natural environment,” Bartholomew wrote on September 1, 2015.

“We invite everyone to soberness of life, purification of passionate thoughts and selfish motivations, so that we may dwell in harmony with our neighbors and with God’s creation.”

Man was the conservator of earth from the beginning

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

– Genesis 2:15

From the very beginning, God made mankind stewards of the earth. From Adam in the garden of Eden, to Noah, who God instructed to care for his creation in preparation before the flood.

“Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and his mate, and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and his mate, and seven pairs of the birds of the heavens also, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth.”

– Genesis 7:2-3

Pope Francis urges us to care for God’s creation

Pope Francis delivered a message on September 1, 2019 for the World Day of Prayer for the Care Of Creation.

“Tragically, the human response to this gift has been marked by sin, selfishness and a greedy desire to possess and exploit,” Pope Francis wrote. “Egoism and self-interest have turned creation, a place of encounter and sharing, into an arena of competition and conflict. In this way, the environment itself is endangered: something good in God’s eyes has become something to be exploited in human hands.”

“Deterioration has increased in recent decades: constant pollution, the continued use of fossil fuels, intensive agricultural exploitation and deforestation are causing global temperatures to rise above safe levels,” Pope Francis continued.

“The increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme weather phenomena and the desertification of the soil are causing immense hardship for the most vulnerable among us. Melting of glaciers, scarcity of water, neglect of water basins and the considerable presence of plastic and microplastics in the oceans are equally troubling, and testify to the urgent need for interventions that can no longer be postponed. We have caused a climate emergency that gravely threatens nature and life itself, including our own.”

“In effect, we have forgotten who we are: creatures made in the image of God (cf. Gen 1:27) and called to dwell as brothers and sisters in a common home,” the Pope added.

“Now is the time to rediscover our vocation as children of God, brothers and sisters, and stewards of creation. Now is the time to repent, to be converted and to return to our roots. We are beloved creatures of God, who in his goodness calls us to love life and live it in communion with the rest of creation.”

The power of prayer

The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation so it’s not only all of God’s creation on planet Earth, but justice for God’s planet and people as well.

Pope Francis reminds us of what God said of his creation in Genesis 1.

“…And God saw that it was good.”

– Genesis 1:25b

The month and four day long season advocates for sustained prayer action, such as we find in Thessalonians:

“Pray without ceasing,”

–1 Thessalonians 5:17

The Bible instructs us to pray with gratitude for God’s gifts.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

–Philippians 4:6

Pope Francis says Catholic Church will participate

In August, 2015, Pope Francis announced that the Roman Catholic Church would also recognize September 1 as the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.

This past week, Pope Francis, said that the “Jubilee for the Earth” will be celebrated from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 comment 2020. It will begin with the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, NETNY reported.

Other churches join in

The call to prayer was also adopted by other ministries, such as the national councils of churches USA, who also encouraged others to join in this broad ecumenical participation.