Lenten Devotion: Friday, March 27

Psalm 95Psalm 102Psalm 107:1-32Exodus 2:1-22 1 Corinthians 12:27 – 13:3Mark 9:2-13

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
1 Corinthians 12:27

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 95:4-5

Psalm 95 calls us to “sing for joy to the Lord,” “come before him with Thanksgiving,” and “bow down in worship.” He is our God, “the Lord our Maker.” And he cradles the earth, our fragile island home, keeping us all under his care. One obligation that arises out for us as beneficiaries of God’s creation is environmental stewardship. It is incumbent upon us all to each contribute our strengths and vulnerabilities. As St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Corinthians, we are all, each and every one of us, crucial parts of the Body of Christ.

We are called to care for the vulnerable among us in particular ways. St. Paul is careful to remind us that “those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.” Degradation of the land disproportionately impacts those who are weakest, most vulnerable, poorest, most marginalized — and unfairly, those who have both done the least to create the problem and benefited the least from the spoils.

Confronting the environmental crisis we face nearly moves me to despair. Two thoughts give me the courage to persist: a reminder from a favorite childhood movie (Anne of Green Gables) that “to despair is to turn your back on God” — and how awfully ironic would it be to abandon the creator, not the destructor, in the face of the crisis? — and the moral courage that today’s youth have harnessed to advocate for environmental stewardship.

My daughter reminds me (and wants me to remind you!) that there are small but vital steps we all can take: single use plastics are poisoning us and our earth. If we don’t medically need a straw, for example, we should not use a plastic straw, reserving them instead for those who truly depend on them for their physical well-being (plus, there are great paper and plant-based alternatives!).

We are called to be stewards of the earth, the earth that our God has created. When we allow ourselves to see his hands in the physical environment that surrounds us, to truly see his hand in the valleys and the peaks, the sea and the land, we rejoice in the awesome beauty of his gift to us.