Sunday, April 22, 2018

Touching the Earth Lightly

1 Touch the earth lightly, use the earth gently,
  nourish the life of the world in our care:
 gift of great wonder, ours to surrender,
  trust for the children tomorrow will bear.

2 We who endanger, who create hunger,
  agents of death for all creatures that live,
 we who would foster clouds of disaster,
  God of our planet, forestall and forgive!

 Touch the Earth Lightly Hymn: lyrics Shirley Erena Murray

Today is Earth Day and Earth Sunday, so our worship today could include a reverent hour or so within a bricks-and-mortar church sanctuary and a ramble or paddle in the glory of the created world. It's important to remember that Jesus spent a lot of his ministry in a counter-cultural way, preaching on hillsides, messing about in fishing boats, going to secluded spots to pray. If it was good enough for Jesus...

Despite a stretched single income when our children were young we travelled a lot in Northern Ontario where I served an active urban congregation. We car-camped when they were quite young and canoe-tripped into some surprisingly remote spots (in retrospect) when they got a bit older. We also did VW Vanagon trips to Atlantic Canada twice, camping all the way. I'm delighted that all three, now in their thirties, have fond memories of those forays and love the natural world themselves. The two with children make getting outside a regular part of family life.

Image result for turtle island

There are times when I teeter on despair for the damage we are doing to Planet Earth -- Turtle Island to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters. Yet I want a world in which our grandchildren will thrive and be able to delight in the beauty of all that God has made.

When our daughter Jocelyn was a child she created the image above of a happy, female figure in the background of a planet. We figured that this was a feminine Creator smiling upon the goodness of Creation. Joc is the mother of an infant daughter herself now and we pray that we will all make the decisions as a species which will allow the planet and this wee bright soul to flourish.

Oh yes. Ruth and I will be out on a river in our canoe today. Maybe we'll see some turtles. You're never too old for wonder as people of the Creator.

Happy Earth Day/Sunday!

Here is the link to today's Groundling blog which also has an Earth Day theme

3 Let there be greening, birth from the burning,
  water that blesses and air that is sweet,
 health in God's garden, hope in God's children,
  regeneration that peace will complete.

4 God of all living, God of all loving,
  God of the seedling, the snow and the sun,
 teach us, deflect us, Christ reconnect us,
  using us gently and making us one.


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