"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Friday, March 23 2018

The Showy Lady’s-slipper, Cypripedium reginae (also known as the Pink-and-white Lady’s-slipper or the Queen’s Lady’s-slipper), is a temperate orchid native to northern North America. They are considered rare but plentiful when their habitat is respectfully managed and preserved.

At the Purdon Conservation Area in Lanark County, Ontario (owned and operated by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority) 10,000 lady’s-slipper orchids burst into bloom each year from mid-June to early July.  A boardwalk through the fen makes an excursion there a delightful, educational and enchanting experience.

In Genesis, Chapter 1:8, in the first account of the painting of God’s Creation masterpiece, God blesses those ‘created in his image’ and charges them to keep and care for the earth.   “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” The word dominion does not denote exploitation out of human need or greed.

God gave mankind a command and instructed his beloved children to embrace the earth, to “tend”, to cultivate and protect the planet and all her inhabitants, flora and fauna. The Hebrew word for “tend”, or some translations say “keep”, is “shamar” and it means more than just cutting the lawn.  The Hebrew word means “to guard” or “to watch and protect.” That means that we are stewards of the earth and co-creators with the Creator.  Presumably there will be a time for an accounting on how well we have done as care-givers of what God has given us.  We, the people on this ‘fragile earth, our island home’ (from the Book of Alternative Services, Eucharistic Prayer #4, known as the ‘Star Wars’ prayer), have some confession, reconciliation and rehabilitation labour to do in this area!

Question:  Besides reduce, reuse and recycle, what have you done to tend God’s Garden, lately?

For Reflection and Study: anglican.ca, the Anglican Church of Canada’s website; Click on Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice, then Creation Matters, then the video interview with The Most. Rev. Fred Hiltz, Primate of Canada, on Mission and the Environment

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honour, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong…Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures, especially through my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day; and you give light through him. And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor! Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars; in the heavens you have made them, precious and beautiful. Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air, and clouds and storms, and all the weather, through which you give your creatures sustenance. Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water; she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure. Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you brighten the night. He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong. Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth, who feeds us and rules us, and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs…Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks, and serve him with great humility.        Canticle of the Sun  St. Francis of Assisi 1224  AD