Okay, every bible becoming an e-book might be a little hyperbolic, but maybe not by much!After all it's earth day--my fourth favorite holiday of the year! The Bible serves as an incredible jumping point for people wishing to further explore our Christian call to stewardship. On this Earth Day, I think it's important that we sit back and think about the little ways we can care for God's creation. For what it's worth, here are my less academic, more personal thoughts on my Green Catholicism. No academic sources here, no hard-core theology, just my sacramental view of nature.
"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…" Genesis 1:1
I think that many modern Christians often take the "His Kingdom is not of this world" approach. We separate God from this world and put him in a disconnected heaven where he sits above and watches us play out our lives. If we have lost anything from the animistic religions it is their sacramental view of the world. For them, they could reach into the soil to plant a seed, feel the cool water run over their hands, and commune with the divine. The world around them had divine authorship—and it was treated as such. Look out and see what we've done to the earth we were given, we've covered it in asphalt, structures, and pollution. If we see the world created by our God, what respect do we show for his work when we show disregard for the planet?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the word became flesh and lived among us." -John 1:1,14
Whenever I am asked, "Why are you a Christian" I answer with this bible passage. Not only does it speak a great deal about environmentalism, but speaks a great deal about the Christian life. Christianity is unique as it is the only major religion where their God took on human form and came amongst man to dwell. That says something about this plane of existence. God thought this world was so important, and meant so much to him, that he took on the error of humanity to join us. Wow! This is not meant as an elevation of us as humanity, but an elevation of us as God's creation.
So what does this mean? THIS WORLD IS IMPORTANT! We should be able to look out into the world and see the stroke of God's pen, a line of his thought, and a glimpse at his face. The worldly experience is a sacramental one. When we deal with a world created by God we have a chance to see him alive, and at work daily. We just have to take the chance to be willing to see him.
Go out and celebrate Earth day, but don't just do it to be green, or hip, or enviro-friendly. Do it because you understand that we are all part of a larger construct in God's creation. Understand that we are inherintly linked and that our destines are tied together. To quote N.T. Wright's clever article, "Jesus is Coming--Plant a Tree!"