Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day - an article of faith

This morning I've had a variety of thoughts swirling. One, though, worked it's way to the front via the children at our church pre-school program.

Yesterday, Rebekah tells me, a horde of the three and four year olds spent some time scouring the church campus, picking up trash as part of their Earth Day curriculum (Today is the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970). They had a BIG time, as they do with pretty much every activity they're involved with, and eventually came parading through the office wing on their way back to class.

"Mrs. Rebekah, Mrs Rebekah!" they yelled, "You have to see our trash!"

And of course they were more than willing to share, fishing through all the yucky stuff to find the REALLY yucky stuff. Everything in a four-year-old's life is one more big moment of excitement. And they're not putting us on; it's real, genuine; they're serious about fun and learning. In fact there's not much if any of a distinction between the two.

Kids are so impressionable, so wide-open to learn and grow and soak it all in.

I remember when Andrew was two (or even less) and Ms. Sue - his "nanny" for four years -would take him for a walk. "Our daily constitutional" she would say. They always took two plastic bags with them; one for Andrew, one for Ms. Sue. They invariably filled the bags with trash along the way. And there was always more the next day. (photo from the Internet)

By the time Andrew was three he was looking out for trash on his own. He was evangelical in spreading the word about the environment to his friends and pretty much anyone he ran into. Taking care of our planet is as natural to him today as breathing.

As a person of faith, I understand that God's Word speaks very clearly and consistently to our responsibility to take care of this world. We were created and placed in creation for a purpose; the shorter Catechism puts it this way: "What is the chief end of man (people): The chief end of people is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever."

One way to both glorify and enjoy God is to take good care of God's creation. Too many religious people take the idea of "dominion" over the world as license to abuse and exploit. I believe God feels the same way about toxic waste as a toxic life.

One of my favorite scriptures about the environment is this, from Romans 8 (Yes, we all have our "repeaters" and this is one of mine!)" The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The Earth itself is anxious, eager, waiting... for us to get it. That's it for this morning. Just sowing seeds of clear thinking.

- Honor God
- Honor God's work
- Live as agents of redemption!
- Invite God's truth to infiltrate every aspect of our lives...


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