I’ve never gotten around to doing much on Earth Day. But this year, we’ve got Earth Hour 2012, and it’s this weekend: 8:30 PM local time on Saturday.
What we’re doing is simple. For one hour, turn off the lights. That’s it. From 8:30 to 9:30. Even if you have kids. ESPECIALLY if you have kids – or love kids. A tangible statement of your awareness that our impact on God’s creation has become too heavy, too selfish, too abusive, and too negligent.
Oh, you can do more too.
- You can sign the World Wildlife Fund pledge to observe this hour.
- You can forward this to your friends or like/share it on Facebook.
- You can put luminaries by your front door to signify what you’re doing inside.
- You can write your elected officials to tell them what you’re doing and to urge them to act justly. Here’s a great website that makes this really easy.
- And for followers of Jesus Christ, consider taking the hour to pray. If this world belongs to its Creator, maybe it’s time we started talking to him about it. You might be glad to print out the text below, and pray through it by candlelight.
And if you have a second right now, watch this great video promoting the Earth Hour observance:
Thanks for reading, for praying and may God bless you.
Our World Belongs to God
- As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world—
which some seek to control, and others view with despair—
we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God!
- Our world, fallen into sin, has lost its first goodness,
but God has not abandoned the work of his hands:
our Maker preserves this world, sending seasons, sun, and rain,
upholding all creatures, renewing the earth,
promising a Savior, guiding all things to their purpose.
- Made in God’s image to live in loving communion with our Maker,
we are appointed earth-keepers and caretakers to tend the earth, enjoy it,
and love our neighbors. God uses our skills for the unfolding and well-being of his world
so that creation and all who live in it may flourish.
- Even now, as history unfolds in ways we know only in part,
we are assured that God is with us in our world,
holding all things in tender embrace and bending them to his purpose.
The confidence that the Lord is faithful gives meaning to our days
and hope to our years. The future is secure, for our world belongs to God.
- When humans deface God’s image, the whole world suffers:
we abuse the creation or idolize it; we are estranged from our Creator,
from our neighbor, from our true selves, and from all that God has made.
- All spheres of life—family and friendship, work and worship,
school and state, play and art—bear the wounds of our rebellion.
Sin is present everywhere—in pride of race, arrogance of nations,
abuse of the weak and helpless, disregard for water, air, and soil,
destruction of living creatures, slavery, murder, terror, and war,
worship of false gods, the mistreatment of our bodies,
and our frantic efforts to escape reality. We become victims of our own sin.
- Remembering the promise to reconcile the world to himself,
God joined our humanity in Jesus Christ—the eternal Word made flesh.
He is the long-awaited Messiah, one with us and one with God,
fully human and fully divine, conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
- The church is a gathering of forgiven sinners called to be holy.
Saved by the patient grace of God, we deal patiently with others
and together confess our need for grace and forgiveness.
Restored in Christ’s presence, shaped by his life,
this new community lives out the ongoing story of God’s reconciling love,
announces the new creation, and works for a world of justice and peace.
- Jesus Christ rules over all. To follow this Lord is to serve him wherever we are
without fitting in, light in darkness, salt in a spoiling world.
- We lament that our abuse of creation has brought lasting damage
to the world we have been given: polluting streams and soil,
poisoning the air, altering the climate, and damaging the earth.
We commit ourselves to honor all God’s creatures
and to protect them from abuse and extinction,
for our world belongs to God.
- Our hope for a new creation is not tied to what humans can do,
for we believe that one day every challenge to God’s rule will be crushed.
His kingdom will fully come, and the Lord will rule.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
- On that day we will see our Savior face to face,
sacrificed Lamb and triumphant King, just and gracious.
He will set all things right, judge evil, and condemn the wicked.
We face that day without fear, for the Judge is our Savior,
whose shed blood declares us righteous.
We live confidently, anticipating his coming, offering him our daily lives—
our acts of kindness, our loyalty, and our love—knowing that he will weave
even our sins and sorrows into his sovereign purpose.
Come, Lord Jesus, come.
- With the whole creation we join the song:
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”
He has made us a kingdom of priests to serve our God,
and we will reign on earth. God will be all in all, righteousness and peace will flourish,
everything will be made new, and every eye will see at last that our world belongs to God.
Hallelujah! Come, Lord Jesus!
© 2008, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Grand Rapids MI. www.crcna.org. Reprinted with permission.Follow @John_Elwood