Land

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge that we are on the land of the Kaurna people, the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We are awed that they celebrate the religious significance of place, plant and all living creatures; and that care for the earth is implanted in their law. We honour them and also delight in the sacred in our midst. We pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit we might work together for reconciliation and justice in this land.

Psalm 139:7-14 NRSV

7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.

Land 13 Sept 2020

Reflection

The Psalm in a sentence. God knows me and is with me.

Let’s dig a little deeper, when we listen to the psalm with our minds on the land? What could we see.

Lets start with the first verse.“Where can I go from your presence?” A vision on our grounding in the land, Land is all around, our feet being firmly planted, Anchored in the Land, Land from where God as built all things.

Or Land like an ever present character in our story. A witness, friend, supporter, victim, protector, healer. Always there, never far away. Often with a different role to play BUT play it does.

In one of the last verses we hear it says of being knitted in a mother’s womb. We could recognize that Earth is a kind of womb, a place of birth - a place of nurture. This is an image of Land as Mother.

There is more to this. Last week we heard the second creation story from the bible, Genesis Chapter 2: 4 – 10, A human formed from the Soil in the garden of Eden. I was deliberate in not naming the creature Adam or man but as human. You may have noticed that. At the time I did not plan to travel that path of detail but I will now. Usually we have the Hebrew word translated to Adam rather than the correct Adham, which means human. The word Adham comes from the word Adamah, meaning Earth. The human comes from earth, from Land. This is an earth creature. Gender for the earth human did not arrive until the removal of the rib when male & female were created in one action.

This second creation story is understood to be an older story than the seven days of creation from chapter one. We are from the Land, the Land is understood as our mother. Now we arrive at an understanding of Land more akin to First peoples understanding of Land.

If we hold this understanding of Land as Mother rather than as a commodity it changes our relationship with the Land.

Prayer

God, our Creator, we celebrate your vibrant presence among us and our kin in creation,
especially in the soil, the fields and the land.
Help us to empathise with your creatures who are suffering.
Lift our spirits to rejoice with the land,
the flowers of the field and all the creatures of the countryside.
In the name of Christ,
who reconciles and renews all things in creation. Amen.