Written by Brooks Berndt
When preachers reflect from the pulpit on the familiar parable of the sower, many undoubtedly expound upon the metaphorical meaning of where the sower's seeds fall: the path, the rocky ground, the thorns, and the good soil. What sometimes gets missed is that this is also a scripture about prophetic hope in the face of stubborn intransigence. The initial situation is bleak. The heart of the people has "grown dull." They can neither see nor hear what is before them. Still, Jesus counsels a persistent faith. He knows that the "mysteries of the kingdom" are germinating and a bountiful harvest will come.
In our current context, it is easy to become fixated on the rocky and thorny parts of our world—a world in desperate peril due to climate change and yet a world in which too few seem to hear and care. Churches, however, have a literal opportunity to do some planting. Right on their front lawns, churches can plant yard signs that declare, "We [heart] Planet Earth. We support the Paris Accord." The sign serves as a moral witness against the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord, the historic agreement of 196 nations to reduce greenhouse gases and address the harms caused by damage to our climate.
Anyone can download the graphic for the sign and send it to a print shop or office supply store to create a yard sign for a minimal cost. To help spread the word even further, a template for a press release is also available, so that local media outlets can be informed of your church’s stand. You can also share what you have planted by sending an email with a photo of the sign in front of your church.
The Rev. Dr. Brooks Berndt is the Minister for Environmental Justice for the United Church of Christ. He can be found on Twitter as The_Green_Rev.