Creation Care, April 24, 2020

Creation Care, April 24, 2020

As you might recall, this past Wednesday we celebrated Earth Day. What did you do to observe or celebrate God’s creation that we live in? 

I shared on Wednesday that the children on Zoom shared ideas about what they thought could be done to love the earth, be kind and care for God’s creation. 

Here’s a few of the ideas they came up with:

  • Be kind and respect the trees
  • Save electricity
  • Turn water off, don’t waste water
  • Don’t dump trash in the ocean
  • Don’t waste food

As we listed the ideas, we placed hearts on or around a picture of the world (similar to the one that you see at the beginning of this post).  I think what impacted me most, is that it was matter of fact for them, as if to say … “this is what we should be doing, we might not know the reasons or answers why, but we know we need trees, and have heard stories of whales and other animals who’s stomachs were filled with plastic and trash“.

Recently, there have been news articles about how stay at home orders have lessened the air pollution in various cities. 

It also seems that for the most part (not entirely and certainly not everywhere) businesses, individuals, families and even faith communities have for the longest time focused on being faithful stewards of the resources God has given us … money. We strive to manage our money in the proper and right way and make sure we protect, set aside, and/or invest to grow it.

All these things have made we wonder: 

  • …about the legacy we might be leaving for the generations to follow us? We leave an inheritance, but how are we leaving the earth for the generations to follow? 
  • …how we are doing at being faithful stewards in caring for God’s creation and the resources that God has given us? Are we investing our time and energy to care for and be mindful of how we spend, waste or set aside? 
  • …how we might be when the ‘on pause’ is lifted. Will we run out, drive around, fill the air with pollution again? Or will we begin to re-evaluate need over want and how might what I am about to purchase or do impact the environment around me?

I’ve mentioned now for the past couple days, as we observed and celebrated Earth Day, that I’ve worked over the past couple of years to step up my game when it comes to being mindful of how I can care for God’s creation around me. From recycling, reusable shopping and produce bags to shopping local and striving to have less trash into the landfills, I have been trying to shrink my carbon footprint.  Reducing plastic and using reusable water bottles, coffee cups and straws helps reduce the amount of plastic and waste that go into the landfill or become consumed by and harming animals. By eating mostly fruits, veggies and plant-based diet, there is less water consumption, and helps reduce energy consumption to name a few ways. Some folks think, they might not be able to give up their meat, while others aim for meatless Mondays. 

There are still several areas in which I know I can improve and strive to do better … composting and gardening for starters. I wish I had the green thumb my mother does, but it just doesn’t come natural for me. I’ll keep trying. 

As I think about our call to be caretakers of God’s creation, and to be faithful stewards of the creation and resources we have. It makes me wonder how we’re doing?  

I invite you reflect on the following Scriptures and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can you think of a time when your feeling of connectedness to creation impacted your spirituality?
  • Do you feel led by the Spirit to make a care of creation impact on your congregation? What about your local community? What are you doing now? What do you hope you might do?

Genesis 2:7then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”

Psalm 104: 

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
    O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
    you set the beams of your chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your chariot,
    you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
    fire and flame your ministers.

You set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it shall never be shaken.
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they flee;
    at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.

You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills,
giving drink to every wild animal;
    the wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
    they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
    and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
    and bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has its home in the fir trees.
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises, they withdraw
    and lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work
    and to their labor until the evening.

O Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom you have made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
    creeping things innumerable are there,
    living things both small and great.
There go the ships,
    and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you
    to give them their food in due season;
when you give to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
When you send forth your spirit, they are created;
    and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!

If you have hung in there this long, thank you! I simply leave you with a the following statement from the Reformed Church in America Creation Care page, and a Climate Blessing.

Again, my reflections this week aren’t intended to make anyone feel badly or inadequate or to boast by any means. And I am aware that these are just simply wonderings and reflections … with very few (if any) facts… my goal this week was to simply invite you into the same ponderings as we wonder how we might be able to lessen our carbon footprint and care for God’s Creation each and every day. 

“Caring for creation in our church facilities and our homes is a crucial lifestyle matter. Many of us can afford to waste less energy, generate less pollution, reduce carbon footprints, and transfer saved funds from reduced utility and water costs to other vital ministry priorities. All of these are spiritual responses to God’s call on the church to steward God’s world.” https://www.rca.org/resources/creation-care

Climate Blessing 

We Hold the Earth *

We hold brothers and sisters who suffer from storms and droughts intensified by climate change.
We hold all species that suffer.
We hold world leaders delegated to make decisions for life.
We pray that the web of life may be mended through courageous actions to limit carbon emissions. We pray for right actions for adaptation and mitigation to help our already suffering earth community. We pray that love and wisdom might inspire my actions and our actions as communities. . . 

so that we may, with integrity, look into the eyes of brothers and sisters and all beings and truthfully 

say, we are doing our part to care for them and the future of the children. May love transform us and our world with new steps toward life. 

*Sister Joan Brown
NM Interfaith Power & Light

May the peace of Christ be with you today and always …

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