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The Earth is the Lord’s

April 22, 2020

“Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy winds fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Wild animals and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds!” Psalm 148:7-10

Today, Day 38, is Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated 50 years ago. During that time we have seen an increased emphasis on creation care but a decrease in the health of creation. The skies and waters have darkened. Natural habitats continue to be destroyed. Humans seem incapable of changing

The odd good news during the coronavirus pandemic is that our forced behavioral changes are having a positive impact on our planet. The skies over the cities of the world are clearing of pollution. Wildlife returns to natural habitats and now-clear waters. Carbon emissions have dramatically declined.

To a small extent, this is the silver lining of the crisis. However, what this news really does is underscore just how detrimental our normal way of being is to the world we inhabit. I am grateful that creation is getting the chance to breathe, to rest and recover. However, if we return to normal when this is over, nothing will have changed.

People of faith believe that the creation we inhabit is not neutral. It is good, for God made it and called it good. God continues to care for creation. Will we reclaim the original commission given to care for the earth, or will we just go back to the sinful ways of using the earth for our benefit without living for the benefit of the earth?

I hope and pray it is the latter. The world needs us, and we we need the world. Someday God will create a new heaven and a new earth. In the meantime, God would like us to care for the world God made. In fact, God commands it.

So, happy Earth Day! Let the world lead our praise today. The hills and the trees and the animals are praising God by being just what God made them to be. May we follow their example.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of creation, all that you have made is good. We ask you forgiveness for the ways in which we have marred and misused the world and its resources. Restore us, Lord, that we may learn during this time that the planet needs us to change our ways. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

The photo, “The Blue Marble,” was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 (public domain).

From → COVID-19

  1. Your thoughts here remind me of my OT seminary class (taught by Kathryn Sifferdecker) and the realization that a large portion of the OT law revolved around the reality that, to God, everyday matter, matters; the blood of humans, the care of the alien, the return of what was used (wood, oil, animal flesh, etc.) had a specific use for either the worship of God, the edification and nurturing of God’s people and a return to the earth for its continuation. We have lost sight of that in so many ways.

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