This week we have collectively experienced or been mindful of Indigenous People’s Day, the lingering remnants of Columbus Day, World Mental Health Day and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that has escalated to war. Mainstream news outlets and social media influencers have all weighed in on how we should respond to our nation’s history of violent colonization, what new habits or practices can help alleviate our anxiety or depression and how we should frame an incredibly nuanced half-century-long conflict.
It’s a lot. But we enter this Sanctuary carrying a lot most Sundays, don’t we? We are preoccupied with our current stressors or weighed down with worry. Maybe we feel alone in our pew or we’re here in the pew because we feel alone at home.
I’ve spent a bit of time in the Hebrew Scriptures recently, especially in the creation passages. I’ve enjoyed the process of deciphering how, what, and why God creates in each and particularly who we are told God is in each passage. In Genesis 1, God is the creator of the heaven and earth. The psalmist describes God as glorious in chapter 19, while in Proverbs 8, God is associated with wisdom. In the Genesis 2 account, God is intimately involved with creation, shaping man with divine hands and breathing life into the woman’s lungs.
As I read the lyrics of today’s hymns, I am grateful for these reminders of the glory of God’s creation and of God’s created. Our friend Jenna Sullivan shared a simple drawing this week with the reminder, “If you love the creator, love the creation.” So simple, and yet transformational. If you love the creator, love the oppressed. If you love the creator, love yourself. If you love the creator, love your neighbor. The evidence of God’s love for us is all around, even when it’s hard to see. You, each one of you, are evidence of God’s love to me.
As we worship together this morning, may the lyrics of these hymns bring peace and remind us where to turn when life is hard. God’s creation reminds us of God’s care and provision and God always believes in you. Always.