Friday, July 15 2022
This Sunday's Epistle should warm us up for a full-throated, full-hearted, praying of the Nicene Creed. Paul opens his letter to the Colossians with a hymn to God's only-begotten, through whom and for whom all things were made, in whom all things hang together. This vision of the Cosmic Christ, who fills and sustains all things, should open the eyes of our hearts to the sanctity of the whole Creation, to the dignity of all that lives, human and non-human alike.
Then Paul goes on to affirm that this exalted being, having become incarnate from the Virgin Mary, suffered on the Cross to reconcile all things to God. But notice how Paul takes it one step further than the Creed does (or maybe he's just more explicit). The Creed says that Christ came down from heaven for us (human beings) and for our salvation. Paul says that through the blood of Christ's cross God reconciles all things to God. The one through whom all things were made suffers and dies for the reconciliation of all things, and continues to suffer with us when we suffer, indeed to suffer with all creatures when they suffer. We are created, and redeemed, and sustained by Christ along with all Creation.
In the letter to the Romans, Paul says that the whole Creation groans in labor pains, waiting for the day when it will be set free from its bondage to decay, and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. So we can just sit back and let God do all the work, right? Not at all! For the earth also groans under the weight of our careless exploitation of the natural world. And Christ has given us the ministry of reconciliation. As ministers of reconciliation, and as repentant abusers of the world God commended to our care, we must now do our part in the healing of the earth.
Father Matthew Moore+
Missioner for Environmental Justice, Episcopal Diocese of Long Island
All are warmly invited to join Father Matthew following the 8 am and 10 am services during coffee hour in the Great Hall for a discussion of the environmental crisis and the work of our diocesan Creation Care Community. He is looking forward to hearing from the people of St. John’s about your parish’s involvement in Creation Care.