There’s a hubbub going around Florida right now that the governor’s office directed the Environmental Protection Agency not to use the terms “climate change,” “global warming,” or “sea level rise” in it’s official communications. Maybe the idea is that if you don’t say it, it doesn’t exist.
Earlier this week, I heard an inspiring lecture entitled “Making Peace with the Earth” at Eckerd College. The speaker was Dr. Vandana Shiva, physicist, environmentalist, and author. Well, Dr. Shiva doesn’t use the terms climate change or global warming either. She prefers to refer to “climate chaos.” She feels this more accurately describes what is going on.
Whatever terms we choose to use, we have a responsibility to care for Earth. As Christians we see Earth as God’s self-disclosure to humanity. We think of a loving God creating this amazing planet and cosmos as our home. That’s a gift beyond comprehension.
But our commitment to Earth is deeper than that. We remember that in our tradition, God has made covenants with humans, but not only with humans. God is also in covenant with all of the creatures and living things of Earth. God and all of the animals and plants also have a special relationship. We are called to honor and respect that covenant. Part of our commitment to our faith is to love, honor, and cherish Earth itself.
In this Lenten season of commitment and discipline, I have taken a vow to end my use of “single use” plastics as far as it is possible. This includes straws, plastic cups, cup lids, plastic bags, plastic utensils, plastic communion cups, and really any single use plastic I can possibly avoid. This commitment keeps me continually mindful of the Divine covenant with Earth. I am grateful.
Lectionary readings for today:
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Prayer: We cannot live without Earth. Earth keeps us alive and sustains us. May we express our gratitude in our tender care for our mother, our home. Amen.