curated by Laurel Dykstra
Martin Luther wrote, “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” Watershed discipleship communities, forest churches, and farm-to-table faith projects attend in different ways to this Word in creation. But many of us falsely imagine that scripture is focused on divine-human relations and unconcerned with “trees and flowers and clouds and stars.”
The Psalm assigned for January 1 both assumes and demands that all creatures—celestial bodies, spiritual beings, plants, animals, and forces of weather—praise their creator. And the diversity of humankind is just one small part of this glorious chorus of praise.
Praise God from the heavens
Praise in the Heights
Praise God, all you angels
Praise God, all you hosts
Praise God, sun and moon
Praise all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens
And you waters above the heavens!
Praise God from the earth
You sea monsters and all deeps,
Fire and hail, snow and frost
Stormy wind fulfilling divine command!
Mountains and all hills,
Fruit trees and all cedars!
Wild animals and all cattle,
Creeping things and flying birds!
Kings of the earth and all peoples
Princes and all rulers of the earth!
Young men and women alike,
Old and young together!
Let them praise the name of God.
(Psalm 148: 1-12, language inclusivized)
Not always this obviously, Jewish and Christian scriptures are filled with themes of land sovereignty, the glory of creation, guidance and symbols of plants and animals: holy wells, burning bushes, animal messengers, altars of undressed stone…
Wild Lectionary is a year-long exploration of these wild, feral, ecological and agricultural, themes in scripture. Following the Revised Common Lectionary (readings shared in common by the greatest number of Christians since the protestant reformation) each Thursday scholars and practitioners will offer scholarship and reflection on the coming Sunday’s lections with the hope that this work will be a resource for preaching, teaching, worship, and the work of ecological justice for pastoral leaders and communities.