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[The Blog] @PDCPC - Earth Day: Secular, or Sacred?

Earth Day: Secular, or Sacred?

Posted by Georgialee Lang on

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good…” Genesis 1:31

Every year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day, a day that marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Today Earth Day is the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people.

But Earth Day is even more special to Christians who understand and recognize that God the Creator blessed his people with a magnificent setting for them to live, thrive, and worship him…from the whitecaps of the oceans, to fields of lavender, from the highest mountain tops glistening with snow, to the baby lambs bleating in the pasture….God created everything!

The scriptures abound with word pictures of nature, but none more compelling than the “Tree” metaphors that are scattered throughout the bible, in fact, trees are mentioned more often than any other living thing, other than God or people.

Consider the Old Testament…Noah received an olive branch. Genesis 1:8; Moses stood before the burning bush. Exodus 3:2-5; Abraham sat under the oaks of Mamre. Genesis 18:1.

In the New Testament we know that Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree. Luke 19:1-4; The disciples gathered on the Mount of Olives. Luke 22:39. The apostle Paul wrote that Christians are like branches grafted into Israel’s tree trunk with roots that stay strong. Romans 11: 17-18.

The authors of scripture delight in nature and especially trees.  Examples include:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener." John 15:1

"That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither…Psalm 1:3

“Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the  earth." I Chronicles 16:33

“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Psalm 92:12

When we remember the Garden, we think of the Tree of Life, planted by God and created to enhance and perpetually sustain humanity, until man sinned, but all was not lost. Harkening back to Holy Week, the symbol of Jesus being nailed to a tree reminds us that through His death on the cross, we are given life everlasting.

God gave us the earth to protect and steward.  In Genesis 1:26 we read:

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Thanks be to God.


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