Sunday, April 19, 2015
It is Earth Sunday today and as with most years we will observe the occasion with a worshipful approach to Creation Care. I decided that this theme would be soil because this is the United Nations International Year of Soils. I wouldn't kid you about something like this!
As odd as that might sound, we are all dependent on soil for our sustenance, as the majority of the planet's food is grown in the earth. We are humans, humus, or earth in our own make-up, mixed with water and when we die it is to the earth we return, "earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust."
I actually attended an event on soil yesterday at Sydenham United Church in Kingston because I figure that what we do the earth as well as the Earth is important. Again, I'm not joking. What we grow, how we grow it, how we take responsibility for the well-being of the soil, are actually deeply spiritual enterprises. The website for this year speaks of soil being sacred and I would agree.
I went back to a gem of a book by Fred Bahnson called Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith. Bahnson, a Christian, is practical about growing food but he is something of a soil mystic offering that "soil is a portal to another world." I like CS Lewis' observation that Jesus' first miracle of turning water into wine may impress us yet "God is doing miraculous things all around us all the time. But we take them for granted. Every year, God makes grapes grow, pulls water through them, and turns it into wine. Every year, God grows a whole harvest of food from a few seeds."
So this year Earth Sunday will be Earthy Sunday and we will thank God for the gift of soil.