Sharing our Faith: Our neighbor, the Earth.
Our Neighbor – the Earth
As I prepare to say a few words, I ask each of you to close your eyes and inhale deeply
Consider the ground you walked across as you entered this place
Consider the song of the bird….the show of the flower…the movement of air across you face as you go about your business
Consider the nourishment you take in
Consider the sea, the river, the rain, the refreshing water you drink
Consider the teeny tiny details of moss, and insects, and icicles
Consider the hurricane, the sand storm, the drought
Consider the grand, “bigger that you” views across valleys, over treetops, up cliffs, into the depths of the earth
Consider the glimpses up into the expanse of the universe.
Please open your eyes and look out these old-timey windows
See trees that move in the wind
Consider the wonder of a newborn creature,
Recall the visceral experience of life and death…
Celebrate the amazement – over and over – when the sun rises and sets, new greens pop up, a wild creature speaks in your space, and you find fossil clues of life before us.
WE are being asked to consider THE EARTH as our NEIGHBOR
This is a rock moving through space that have become the place for humanity to carry out its story
This is a neighbor we do not choose but that we share
A neighbor we may ignore, or dismiss, or take for granted- we don’t know what it has to do with us
A neighbor we may elevate and celebrate and revere and defend - it is a reflection of ourselves.
A neighbor who controls us by its very energy
A neighbor whose life sustaining qualities are subject to our human influences…pollution and exploitation are our choice
A neighbor with species, systems, and interdependencies that we can protect and nurture and stimulate
A neighbor that we compete with, collaborate with, succeed with, and adventure with.
A neighbor whose very existence is inextricably connected to our own.
Without the environment, we humans have no context.
So now what?
Do we compete with it?
Do we embrace it?
Do we nourish it?
Do we help it grow?
Do we keep it clean?
Do we trash it, harm it, break it down?
Given the above, consider the words of the hymn we will be singing:
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.
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
Each of us must search for and recognize the opportunities to take care of our neighbor.
Frankly – Planet Earth is just fine without us.
It is “us” who are not fine without Planet Earth.