Today is the World Day of Prayer for Creation. The day for the protection of the natural environment is observed globally by the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches . Other churches have also adopted it. Many churches including the Church of England have extended this into a special season of Creation Time, which lasts until the Feast of St Francis on 4th October.
During this time Christians are encouraged to celebrate the glory of God shown in creation, to pray for the protection of the creation; and to promote sustainability to reverse human damage to the environment including climate change. At All Saints Church Wokingham during Creation Time our main Sunday Communion service at 9.30am encourages us to cherish God’s creation using a specially-adapted liturgy.
This year I will be posting every day during Creation Time a photograph from my own collection which shows the awesomeness and wonder of creation. And I will add a comment to highlight a different aspect of creation and the challenge to protect and sustain it.
For the World Day of Prayer for Creation I’ve chosen this beautiful image of a wheat field with wild flowers being allowed to grow alongside it. It was captured on a gloriously sunny day alongside the Ridegway, an ancient route used since prehistoric times, and now an 87 mile-long National Trail, following the high ground of chalk downs in the southern midlands of England.
I’ve chosen this image of wheat growing for the first day of Creation Time to highlight our dependence upon the soil and the climate for our basic foodstuffs. It reminds me too that many of the so-called natural landscapes are in fact the product of the work of humans on the earth. Western European farmers have been encouraged to provide wildflower field margins to counteract the loss of habitat and decrease in biodiversity which results from modern intensive agriculture.
Agriculture is an all-important interface between humanity and the natural world.As well as being vital in providing food for all consumers, agriculture provides the livelihood of around a half of the world’s population, concentrated especially in poorer areas. Sustainable agriculture and protection from the impact of climate change is vital to defend millions of rural communities across the world from degradation and destitution.
“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope.”