Tag Archives: Climate

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.



Drought_Swimming_HoleLiving in the Spirit
October 12, 2015

Scripture Reading: Joel 2:21-27

Do not fear, O soil;
   be glad and rejoice,
   for the Lord has done great things!
Do not fear, you animals of the field,
   for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
   the fig tree and vine give their full yield.  

O children of Zion, be glad
   and rejoice in the Lord your God;
for he has given the early rain for your vindication,
   he has poured down for you abundant rain,
   the early and the later rain, as before.
The threshing-floors shall be full of grain,
   the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. –Joel 2:21-24

Joel is speaking words of hope here, recovery from drought. The economy will recover the food will grow again in abundance. There will be enough to eat. Hope comes and goes here in Oklahoma as we ride the roller coaster of rain and no rain. We had floods in May and ample rain in June and July but then the drought began to seep back upon the weather maps on the evening news. Red is the color we definitely do not want to see on the maps, but now once again there is red in the county that normally has the most rain of all. The beauty of fall is lost in drought. The trees go from green directly to looking almost dead.

Joel knows drought is a fickle thing. He reassures his people that God is in the early rain and to take that as a sign that God is the god of the harvest. The challenge we face today is whether our own actions are contributing to weather irregularities. While we worry about drought the people on the east coast are drowning in the out of control flood of waters from a tropical storm.  The people on the west coast are living in drought continuously now. Is this just a normal cycle of weather life or is our ignoring the impact we have on the climate costing us greatly?

We were commanded care of the earth by God at creation. That was obviously done for a reason. Dominion does not mean license to do whatever we want. It means responsibility so that we and all the animals can rejoice for long into the future on this earth that God has provided.

Prayer: Lord, make us good stewards of your provision. 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 American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.