Sustainable Earth

Ordinary Time
February 12, 2018

Scripture Reading: Genesis 9:8-17

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ –Genesis 9:8-11

I wonder what God thinks about the promise to never flood the earth to destroy it again, as God watches us do a good job of destroying it ourselves? In Oklahoma, the weather is always changing. We are used to that. I took awhile adapting to the weather forecast when I lived in Denver. It seemed so routine. The morning weather reporter would say, “It is going to rain at 8:00 pm.” And it did. In Oklahoma, we hear about a 20% chance of this but if a certain front moves further north we will have a 60% chance of something else. The report may be totally different three hours later. Now we are watching moisture falling all around us but not on us while our earth dries, and crops do not grow. Our forecasts regarding climate change are more concrete every day.

God’s promise contained in the scripture above is not made to just Noah and his descendants. God’s covenant is made with every living creature over which we were given dominion, making us responsible for their well-being as a part of the interdependent relationship we have with them in God’s creation. I believe God intends to keep that promise. I also believe that God intends for us to do our part in maintaining the sustainability of the earth and all that is on it and in it. Clearly, our life choices are contributing to the extreme weather we are experiencing, the erosion of land as sea waters rise, earthquakes caused by wastewater disposal, and carbon emissions impacting the air we breathe.

The time is now to invest our time and energy in learning about our environment and implementing ways to sustain a healthy world in which to live and grow and have our being.

Prayer: Lord, broaden our understanding of ways we can contribute to a sustainable earth. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.