United Church of Christ

The Case for Earth Day as a Celebration of the Church


Some years ago a sermon title caught my eye. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon had announced the winner of its Earth Words contest for outstanding sermons on environmental stewardship. The grand prize went to the Rev. Dr. Steven Koski whose sermon was entitled “Earth Day: As Big as Christmas and Easter.” My immediate reaction to the title was, “Wow! That’s provocative!” In the sermon, Koski argues that Earth Day should become an official church celebration like Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. He bases his contention in how foundational love of creation is to our faith. He declares:

God created an amazing creation and left us as stewards, caretakers...asked us to treat the earth as a sacred Thou...to care for and value and love the Holy Earth.

Have you ever considered in the Divine design of things that is why we are here in the first place...to love creation as much as God loves creation?

Perhaps that’s our first calling and our holiest vocation as people of faith...to be good stewards and care for God’s Holy Earth. Caring for the Earth is not an option for people of faith. It’s not an elective course we might consider if it interests us. Maybe God is suggesting it is one of the very reasons we are here in the first place.

Caring for the earth is not some radical “green” thing for tree huggers – it’s the responsibility and privilege of every single one of us as people of faith.

God loves the world and asks us to love the world as well.

I am convinced that in order to save and heal the planet, we must first love it!

Regardless of where you fall in the debate over whether Earth Day should be as big as Christmas and Easter, love of creation can still be one of the most uniting elements of our faith. After all, each of us has received this awe-inspiring gift from God. Each of us shares this common home. There are a number of ways we can express our love for the magnificent world around us, and this Earth Day provides us with a rich opportunity to reflect upon just that.



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