The Season of Creation
N. C. Habel, D. Rhoads & P. Santmire (eds), Fortress Press
The Season of Creation is a recent addition to the Lectionary.
It is an Australian or “southern hemisphere” initiative, the Lectionary dominated as it is by northern hemisphere cosmology and myth.
In an early attempt some churches established lectionaries with an insert called Creation Time.
The new optional Season, launched in 2005, is inserted into the After Pentecost time and covers the Sundays in September.
Norman Habel and two Lutheran colleagues have put together a preaching commentary on the Season, including articles expounding the theology behind the Season and a collection of preaching aids by various biblical scholars to each of the 12 Sundays across the three years.
The preaching aids are indeed varied, theologically speaking. Each commentary consists of background comments on the particular theme, notes on each of the four Lectionary/Season of Creation readings, and all rounded off by a brief reflection.
For those not familiar with the Season, each year has three themes, including Forest, Earth, River, Sky, Mountain, Ocean, Fauna, and Storm.
Reason for the Season is to celebrate both the Creator and Creation. However the theology expressed in many of the articles and aids is very anthropocentric. Little attempt is made to express G-d, for instance, in terms other than personal — such as Creativity.
This is a both disappointment and a failing of this book, especially when a couple of the commentators have attempted in previous publications to go beyond an anthropocentric cosmology.
Rex A. E. Hunt