Friday, April 22nd, marks the 46th annual celebration of what has become known as Earth Day. Originally founded in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, the day was to be a one time event that was to increase awareness of the Earth and our responsibility as inhabitants of this planet to do our best to take care of the environment.
However, as is sometimes the case, this idea took hold and the movement grew – almost on its own. Earth Day became the focal point for people to express their exuberance about the environment and to illustrate how we were not taking care of our lakes, rivers, land and air.
In fact, people passionate about oil spills, toxic waste, pesticides and the extinction of many species of animals now had a common thread through which to express their concerns. Global warming was among the issues that ignited passions among those concerned with the condition of the earth and it is interesting to note that March was the warmest March on record, going back to the beginning of when records were kept, in 1880. And the movement has continued to grow. The goals of Earth Day are significant – the organizers of the group have hopes of planting 7.8 billion trees – and yes, that’s billion – not million…
Tomorrow, in Paris, 120 nations, including the U.S., will sign an agreement committing their leaders to a course of action to save the earth, including CO2 emissions. It is thought to be the largest Earth Day effort in decades and paves the way for the celebration in 2020 of the 50th Earth Day.
The verse for this evening is a simple one. We, as Christians, are charged with the responsibility to take care of God’s creation – originally spoken into existence. It was created for us as a safe place for to have communion with God until Adam and Eve succumbed to sin in the Garden of Eden. Almost since the beginning, it seems that we have not been good stewards of the earth that has been entrusted into our care. The verse is the first one in the Bible. Moses, the author of Genesis, told the people of God, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”
It is important to acknowledge that the earth doesn’t belong to us – it belongs to God and we are borrowing the resources of the planet from our children. My encouragement this evening is that God is watching and hoping that we will care for His creation to the best of our ability. Sadly, we haven’t done that very well. My prayer is that you will protect the assets of the earth – the land, sea and air so that it can be preserved for the generations to come. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…