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Reclaiming Earth Day

April 22, 2009

Yes, this day is over-commercialized and over-politicized. And yes, I would love to spend the day talking about going green in your yard, in your fridge, in your closet, and under your sink. I would love to talk you into using reusable grocery bags, cloth diapers, recycled trash bags, and safe cosmetics. 

But more than that, I would love talk about  redeeming this national Earth Day for Jesus Christ. Why let G.E., TV, and D.C. have all the glory?

I believe that we are called to care for all creation — people, animals, land, etc. — the same way God cares for us. We have been entrusted with this earthly home, and we can reflect God’s love for us in the way we love our earth.

When I see the tiny, green lady slipper leaves breaking through in my backyard, I am reminded of my own frailty and need for gentle care. While I sweep away the brush and branches that have fallen over the shoots, I am so grateful for the way God cares for me in my weakest times, so grateful that he cares for the sparrow and the lilies. I want to do the same for the earth that he does for me.

But it’s about more than just land and water. The Lord calls us to care for the poor and afflicted. There are many obvious ways to do this, but something that doesn’t get talked about much is what we can STOP doing in order to care for “the least of these.” We can show Christ’s love to others by reducing our waste and being more conscious buyers. Here’s why:

My garbage ends up somewhere, usually in a landfill in someone else’s backyard, here and overseas. And the stuff I pick up so easily (and often thoughtlessly) off the store shelf comes from somewhere — stripping resources from other people’s land (usually overseas where they have no voice to stop it), pouring highly toxic waste into other people’s water and air (again, overseas), and exploiting men, women and children in sweatshops around the world. With a few simple changes, this could change drastically. And shouldn’t Christians be first in line to make those changes?

(To learn more about our stuff, where it comes from, and where it ends up, check out “The Story of Stuff” over on the left sidebar.)

Let’s redeem Earth Day. Let’s make it about more than just changing light bulbs and recycling water bottles (although these are great things we should do, too!). I want to make Earth Day a day to celebrate and care for not just the earth, but creation

He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the 
Lord.

 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.

 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
(from Psalm 33)


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Ainsley and I were out this morning cleaning out the flower beds to begin our Earth Day celebration. Nothing like the smell of dirt in the morning. Happy 1st Earth Day, Ainsley!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Katie permalink
    April 22, 2009 3:31 pm

    Amen!!!

    And what a cutie that little Ainsley is.

  2. Big Daddy Cane permalink
    May 7, 2009 9:00 am

    Ainsley is cute there…

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