I think more about our “Creator God” in the springtime. It is hard not to as the season changes from winter to spring and the earth warms, and buds on the trees begin to open, and daffodils in our gardens begin to bloom. Warm days invite us to open our windows, and they call us out of our houses to look at the land and the sky. Ah, for the Beauty of the Earth! This inspires me to sing a stanza or two of this 19th century hymn that we still sing often in the church even now:

For the Beauty of the Earth,
for the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth over and around us lies
Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!

For the beauty of each hour, of the day and of the night,
hill and vale, and tree and flower, sun and moon and stars of light,
Lord of all to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise!

The earth is beautiful, and it belongs to God. We sometimes forget this. But Psalm 24 verse 1 reminds us:  “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the  world and those who dwell therein.” And it is our job to take care of it, which the book of Genesis tells us: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (2:15)

God has charged us to practice good stewardship of the earth’s environment and natural resources. What this means is that we must treat all of nature as sacred and manage it for the sake of making God’s good creation better. When God created the earth, he said that we are to replenish it (Gen 1:28), not deplete it. We are called to honor God by the choices we make, and to not neglect or abuse the earth.

A few years ago, my church missions committee decided to plant evergreen tree seedlings to be good stewards of the earth. We obtained seedlings from the Arbor Day Foundation, and handed them out to church members one Sunday in celebration of Earth Day. We also took a trip with some of our Sunday school children to plant trees at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge New Hampshire.

I planted a few seedlings in my yard, but did not expect much from these six inch twigs covered with delicate needles. Unfortunately, many did not make it – too much sun and not enough water I guess! But one of my seedlings survived and it has now grown into a three and a half foot tall tree. I would like to take credit for this, but I know that this tree’s flourishing is the work of the Creator – the Divine, mysterious Source of life – the One who makes hearts beat and causes seeds to germinate.

God’s healing and resurrecting love is at work in all of God’s good creation.   And it is glorious and beautiful! This springtime, I pray we will renew our appreciation for the gift of our earth, and that we will not turn our backs on God’s trust in us to care for it.

And I hope that maybe, just maybe the next time you feel a beautiful warm day calling you to enjoy the miracles of creation happening just outside your door, your heart will be filled with humility at the wonder of it all, and you will break out in a song of grateful praise to our Creator God, who is the Lord of it all!

Yours in Service of the Resurrected Christ,
Reverend Linda C. Hey