Monday, August 27, 2007
Day 4. The Earth is His.
Today, we practiced the posture of Remembering as worship during our spiritual formation time. We went over about 10 old testament passages that demonstrate God's people worshipping Him for all He's done or passages that call God's people into a posture where they acknowledge His faithfulness in their lives.
As a group, we went around and shared moments we remembered as an act of worship. The one that immediately came to mind was 4-year-old Megan (who's a big girl now!) at the church I grew up in. When my grandmother passed away, she came up to me one Sunday, tugged on my shirt and said, "lizzy, i'm praying for you." One day she'll know how much that impacted me. Until then, I can only share with others how much of the Lord's love and favor I was able to experience at that very moment. As the group share, we all realized and acknowledged how powerful it can be to worship in remembrance. It calls us to be vulnerable and to lay ourselves bare. Sometimes, remembering takes us back to dark places, but often times, those dark places only lead do the deliverance that the Lord is.
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, Blessed be your name
Lord, thank you for being directional, personal and just. Thank you for your faithfulness. I ask that you would teach in me these things.
The earth's is the Lord's, and everthing in it; the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1
We headed out to A'Rocha after our conversation time. A'Rocha is an " international, Christian organization working to care for God's world" (arocha.org). At this location, we delved further into the idea of creation care, what it looks to be stewards of God's creation, the world we live in. This challenged all of us radically. Most of us were from Southern California, and we live pretty wastefully. Now, you may be thinking ," I don't live wastefully." But let's break it down. How many of us recycle? Do you drive everywhere you go? Is it fuel efficient? I am so guilty of using paper towels like a crazy person! (i've adopted the usage of cloth napkins at my apt. now :)) As a nation, the United States average cost of living is higher than it is anywhere in the world. We use more than we produce. This in mind, many take a political stance at some point. Ah! Liberals, the Greens, etc. I truly was able to embrace the freedom that is so beyond the parties we put ourselves in, to embrace the freedom that we are the Lord's people. And if you need some theological proof, it is everywhere. We are given dominion, responsibility as we live in creation, as creation. It says we have rule, and in the original context, to have rule means we are to work, to serve, to cultivate the land-to care for, to guard and to keep. People in Vancouver are really bing on purchasing produce/goods from local growers. Not only does this support the community they are in, they know exactly where there food is coming from. When God gave Adam the duty of naming creation, He was inviting Adam into something very intimate and personal. He was inviting Adam into a relationship of stewardship-stewardship of God's handiwork. Picture the world we live in as God's artwork in a museum. You don't go into a museum and destroy, disrespect and deface the things that you see. Rather, you take care of, respect, and are in awe of the things you see. We are the image-bearers of Christ, and as such, we need to tend to this earth the way God did when He created it-with care, with thought, and with great love.
Not taking care of the earth affects everyone, especially the poor. As a resource, we need to use wisely. Rather than use up all the goods of the world, how to be sustain and cultivate what's already around us?
According to David Suzuki, here are ways to conserve
1. Reduce Home Energy
2. Energy efficient home appliances
3. Eat a meat-free meal once a day
4. Eat locally grown stuff (Farmer's market)
5. Replace dangerous pesticides
6. Use fuel efficient vehicles
7. Learn more and share with friends and family
8. Cloth napkins instead of paper ones.
9. Avoid buying things that are individually wrapped in large packages.
10. Rather than buying new clothes, exchange clothes w/ friends.
I hope to gain more knowledge in this area of creation care. I don't feel like i have a tight enough grasp yet to spur others on. For now, I plan on implementing what i learned, and through that, gain a deeper undertanding that affects those around me.
After we discussed the realities of the correlation between "deficit financing" and how many of us use the world's resources, we split up into teams, and helped the A'Rocha team with whatever they needed done with the land and with the plants. A few of us split off for some major weeding in a vast area of land as we spoke to a new friend we made who was interning there from South Africa.
After we left A'Rocha, we went home to the Gravely house and had dinner. I got to play w/ Tessa and her friends for a bit. Now, tiredness consumes me, and i'll continue next time.