June 19 Lectionary and Reflecting on “Dominion”

Here is a repost of a blog from May, which highlights an opportunity to explore creation care through the lectionary on Sunday, June 19.  I am reposting because today I was contacted by Rev. Bruce Gillette, who offered up a beautiful hymn, written by his wife Rev. Carolyn Gillette as a resource to use in churches exploring care for creation in worship on June 19.  View the hymn “At the Dawn of Your Creation.”

Rev. Peter Sawtell, Executive Director of Eco-Justice Ministries, sends out a wonderful weekly e-newsletter “Eco-Justice Notes” that reflects on eco-justice issues from a theological perspective.  These weekly columns are inspiring, and I wanted to direct you to Rev. Sawtell’s most recent issue from May 20.

In this issue of “Eco-Justice Notes,” Rev. Sawtell focuses on “Dominion: a challenge for preachers.”  He explains that the Revised Common Lectionary gives pastors a perfect opportunity to incorporate eco-justice into sermons on Sunday, June 19.  The lectionary text that day includes Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 8, both of which incorporate the idea of human “dominion” over the earth.

“Dominion” has long been a misunderstood concept, being read as an excuse to treat God’s earth in whatever way we see fit.  But, with dominion comes responsibility.  Given dominion, we are called to be caretakers of the earth.  As Dr. Carol Johnston writes in “And the Leaves of the Tree are for the Healing of the Nations,”

“Insofar as human beings do exercise power or dominion over other creatures, it should imitate this creative, redeeming God.  According to Job and the Psalmists, God cares for all the creatures, regardless of their usefulness to human beings.”

Consider taking Rev. Sawtell’s challenge to preach on a just interpretation of “dominion” on June 19.  Read Rev. Sawtell’s reflections and find more resources.  

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