Jubilee for the Earth
“Jubilee for the Earth” is the theme for the Season of Creation in 2020.
Creationtide, or the Season of Creation, is the period in the annual church calendar, from 1st September to St Francis’ Day on 4th October, dedicated to God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. The major Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant and Anglican churches throughout the world join together at this period to pray and act on ecological issues.
Back in 1989 Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios 1 proclaimed 1st September as a day of prayer for creation. In 2001 other major Christian European churches joined in the celebration. Pope Francis followed for the Roman Catholic church in 2015 and the Season of Creation is now celebrated by 2.2 billion Christians around one shared purpose.
For 2020 the international theme is “Jubilee for the Earth”. We think of Jubilee meaning release from debts, restoration of justice and a time of rest for the land. This year COVID 19 has challenged health care systems, economies, food production chains, and transportation systems, as well as inflicting sickness and death on a large scale across the world. It has also shown how interconnected all these systems are. Chad Rimmer of the Lutheran World Relief said recently, “These days our living pushes the planet beyond its limits. Our demands for growth and our never-ending cycle for production and consumption are exhausting the world … we’ve not allowed the land to earn her sabbath, and the Earth is struggling to be renewed.”
A theme of celebrating Jubilee calls out prophetically for climate justice and actions for restoration of the Earth: equality, justice, sustainability, and a transition to sustainable economies. As Mother Theresa once said, “Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”