Earlier this week, I planned the liturgy for today around Earth Day to celebrate creation and all that God calls us to be as stewards of this global community. As the week progressed, I experienced a deep sadness for the events occurring in Texas and Boston, and I spent a lot of time last night discerning how I would address that darkness today.
Late in the evening I found this feature story in TIME magazine including various leaders of faith and asking them what they might preach and teach on this Sunday. When I read the following words from the passage by Gabriel Salguero, I was reminded that God is not only a God of creation but also a God of re-creation. As one who lives out God’s calling for creation care, I am reminded that I am called to share the light of love and peace with all around me, whether it be with plants, earth, animals, or other people. And yes, even by doing so in my own backyard, I am making a the world a more peaceful place.
“The Creation story reminds us that even from the inception of creation and humanity God and creation had to deal with tohu wabohus—the Hebrew term in the Biblical creation story that means void, darkness, and chaos. What can we do when things feel empty, chaotic, and depressive? When our hearts are overwhelmed with grief, loss, and despair? When we feel the battle to save lives, creation, and society go the way of void and nihilism? Scripture, that great book of hope and comfort, reminds us of the presence of God’s Spirit hovering and sustaining even in our darkness. Ah yes, that same Spirit that creates, re-creates, and re-orders.
We are a community of the Spirit, called to speak light into chaos, peace into violence, sustainability into environmental degradation. God is still speaking light through us. What does this light look like? Saying yes to creation care and no to the toxins that threaten our planet and shared life. Saying yes to peace-making and no to violence. Saying yes to the Prince of Peace and no to the false gods of pollution, bombs, xenophobia, and hatred. We are God’s people and we still think that God and his people can speak light into the abyss of the things that often besiege us. We need not sit idly by and fear the darkness. We are God’s people we can and must and speak light, hope, and love into all the tohu wabohus of our life together. If not us, who? If not now, when?” ~Gabriel Salguero