Having celebrated Easter Sunday, we are moving through the church calendar’s marking of the Easter season. Consistent with this season’s celebration of new life and a new way of life together, we continue our consideration of habits, practices or disciplines to incorporate into the upcoming week (based on “Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us” by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun).
The practice we are looking to guide us on this sixth Sunday of Easter is the spiritual practice of “Care of the Earth.” The desire behind this practice is “to honor the Creator by loving, nurturing and stewarding his creation.” (Calhoun, p.202). Spring is a wonderful season to consider this practice.We sometimes gloss over the great delight God demonstrates in Genesis 1 as he unfolds the creation day by day. The Bible writer tells us that God stood back to look at his creation and “saw that it was good.” (Gen.1:4, 10, 12, 18, 25, 31) What the writer is referring to is not a moral goodness but a goodness related to beauty, praise-worthiness and magnificence in quality and creativity. These are characteristics that produce delight in God and generally most of us. We respect God’s creation not only because we are asked to steward this world carefully and respectfully by God but also because of God’s own delight in what he has made.This practice includes a familiar list of environmentally friendly activities such as protecting the earth’s natural resources for future generations, working against pollution, using energy supplies wisely, recycling, reusing, repurposing and sensitivity to land depletion. Something as simple as choosing to walk or ride a bike when possible rather than a vehicle is a practical outworking of this discipline.In this season of Easter, we look ahead to the time when all things will be made new, “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.” (Romans 8:21) –EGN