This year’s logo for the Season of Creation is Abraham’s tent, symbolizing “A home for all.”
Abraham and Sarah opened their tent as a home for three strangers, who turned out to be God’s angels (Genesis 18). By creating a home for all, their act of radical hospitality became a source of great blessing.
Abraham’s tent is a symbol of our ecumenical call to practice creation care as an act of radical hospitality, safeguarding a place for all creatures, human and more human, in our common home, the household (oikos) of God.
This Season of Creation, consider pitching “Abraham’s tent” in the church garden or green space as a sign of hospitality for all beings who are excluded. Communities could be invited to pray with and for the vulnerable of the community. Perhaps bring parts of creation into the tent to pray with you. The tent can also be present as a symbol during events or in worship throughout the Season of Creation as a symbol of the community’s intention to create a home for all.
A HOME FOR ALL
Abraham’s tent would have likely been open on multiple sides, so anyone passing by would feel welcome. The tent is often an emblem of dialogue, especially between monotheistic religions born from Abraham. Today, it is a sign of our interfaith and interdisciplinary call to create safe spaces for dialogue and discernment.
The tent represents a place of shelter or refuge. It links us with the homeless, refugees, and all who are on the move and displaced by the effects of climate change. Psalm 84 reminds us that in God’s house (oikos), even the sparrow finds a home to build a nest and lay her eggs.
In the Gospel of John 1:14, we read that the “the Word became flesh and pitched his tent among us.” The symbol of the tent can remind us of how Jesus came to dwell among us as a sign of God’s love. Love is the root of our faith, which compels us to love our neighbors by tilling and keeping our common home.
The tent is also a sign of simplicity. Particularly among young people, the tent and the backpack symbolize what is essential, sufficiency, living within our means, and travelling lightly upon the earth. Like nomadic and semi-nomadic people today, Abraham and Sarah knew what it meant to be vulnerable, depending upon the goodness of the land, respecting its rhythms, and living in trust. The tent is a sign of the grateful pilgrim who knows that as we pass through this life, our footprint must be light upon the Earth.
[Texts from Season of Creation, 2021 Celebration Guide]