Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Radical, Biblical "Amen" to Earth Day

When I grew up as a child "recycle, renew and re-imagine" were not a part of my vocabulary. Playing outdoors with no sunscreen, riding a bike without a helmet and throwing bottles, glass, and paper into one trash bin was the norm. For me and my generation to go green and sustain the earth is a new concept of radical living. Let’s admit it's not easy being green, at least not as easy as some suggest. 

For almost 40 years, advocates of Earth Day have called on people to celebrate environmental progress and to protect our planet. To this goal, Christians can say a hearty "Amen, but... ."

"Amen," because we have good intentions and a desire to preserve, protect and sustain our earthly home.  Our intentions even have a biblical call to exercise responsible stewardship of God's good creation. But good intentions aren't enough and we need to think globally.  Without wisdom and sound judgment, they can lead to harmful, unintended consequences—harmful not just to the environment, but to those living in poverty in our world, whom we are also called to care for and protect. 
The concept of stewardship involves taking care of something that belongs to somebody else. For Christians, stewardship of the environment recognizes that "the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (Psalm 24:1). Creation belongs to the Creator. The Christian tradition affirms that humans have been given the privilege and task of tending and cultivating it for good.   

Trish Dick, OSB

Teach your children
What we have taught our children,
And the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
If men spit upon the ground,
They spit upon themselves.

This we know
The earth does not belong to us,
We belong to the earth.
This we know
All things are connected
Like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.

Whatever befalls the earth
Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
We did not weave the web of life,
We are merely a strand in it.
Whatever we do to the web,
We do to ourselves.



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