Pr. Cathy Daharsh
“Then shall the trees of the woods shout for joy at your coming…”
Our theme for the next 6 weeks is “Let All Things Now Live.” We start in the beginning, in the book of Genesis, where God calls us in relationship with each other and with all living things: animals, insects, and land. All life is created by God and is essential. We are called to care for every living being, to appreciate their uniqueness, and live in gratitude for their gift to this world. Life should never be taken for granted and life needs our attention.
50 of you came together and joined us for a Parking Lot Prayer Vigil confessing that we can do better in caring for the lives of black and brown people and praying for help and guidance to remember that all lives are created by God and valuable. Thank you to those who come together on Monday in person or on Facebook Live.
During our 6 weeks of “Let All Things Now Live” we will encourage you to take pictures of life all around us and post them on Instagram and Facebook or email them to us. We will also be delivering Family Field Faith Kits to our children’s homes to encourage exploration of God’s creation.
We will be using the Northern Illinois Synod Creation Care Committees resources for worship and creating the kits. Here is this week’s reflection for Sunday:
Season of Creation Forest Sunday
“Then shall the trees of the wood shout for joy at your coming…” states the Psalmists. To some, that may sound like an inspiration for a Disney animation. But is it really far fetched to depict trees as shouting?
In his book The Hidden Life of Trees, Peter Wohileben shares the complexities of how trees communicate with one another as well as with other creatures. Their primary method is through scent. When threatened by hungry insects or herbivorous mammals, trees produce aromatic toxins that repel the pests as well as warn other trees in the area of the invasion. In addition, trees send chemical and electrical signals to other trees through their roots, warning them of threats such as insects and drought and fire. Scientists have coined the phrase “the wood wide web” to describe the forest communication network. And now, there is evidence that trees and other plants respond to sound! (So, singing to plants may actually be more than just an old wives’ tale.)
Humans may not be able to hear the shouting of trees, but certainly the God who created them can. When understanding the complexities of forest communication systems, as well as the dependence of the entire planet on plentiful and healthy forests to maintain a conducive living environment, it becomes painfully clear that God took great care in creating the trees and forests of this world. And with all this in mind, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that it was on a tree that God brings salvation to the world.