For many Christian denominations, Lent is a time of sacrifice and reflection. As I think about how I will observe it this year, I can think of no better way then caring for the gift that God has given all of us: Earth. As a culture, we have taken for granted many of life's conveniences. What were once luxuries are now considered necessities. These *necessities* are taking their toll. We would need five Earth's to keep up with our current standard of living! Lent is an opportunity to take some time every day to evaluate our priorities in this world and become closer to God and all that he as given to us. Please see the links below to some inspirational programs to help guide you through the season!
Iowa Interfaith Power & Light Carbon Calendar
United Church of Christ Ecumenical Lenten Carbon Fast
Catholic Climate Covenant Carbon Fast Lenten Calendar
Imagine the power of thousands of voices all praying for the same thing at the same moment! We have that opportunity this weekend. Please join us as we have a moment of prayer for the earth at noon on February 14. This is a simple step we can all take to stand for something so important. God gave us this beautiful gift, it is our duty to honor and protect it. Following is a prayer that I encourage you to say.
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.
"Then God said to Noah....As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth." Genesis 9:8-10.
This is powerful verse! It is also one that is often quoted to me when I give a presentation to a congregation. It is held up as a reason that mankind does not need to worry about the Earth: God has promised not to destroy it! Unfortunately, that is not what the verse is conveying. What it states is that God has made a covenant with us, not a promise. A covenant is a two-way street. God has told us what he will not do, but we must all live up to our end of the deal. We have been tasked with stewardship of the creation that God saved. We have been entrusted with keeping the earth as magnificent as God wanted. He did not promise that no matter what we did with it, He would fix it. We have a responsibility and we need to live up to it. Throughout the Bible, all manner of life is lifted up as "good". We are as connected to the land as the land is connected with us. We have been given everything we need to survive and thrive, but if we don't step up in our role as stewards, we risk not only breaking our covenant, but condemning our children and grandchildren to a life of hardship and struggle. That is not what I want. I hope it is also not what you want. Please consider how you are being a good steward and inspiring those around you. Let us know how we can help - every step, no matter the size, helps!