What Does Earth Day Mean to the Christian?

This week is Earth Week, with Thursday, April 22 being observed as Earth Day, a time set aside to create awareness about various ecological issues and encourage us to be more environmentally friendly. I have to admit that when Friendship Day rolls around, I will probably not make the Earth’s list of Top 10 Best Friends of All Time. I still use plastic, purchase those cute reusable bags but rarely remember to take them to the store and throw all kinds of plastic and aluminum in the regular, old garbage can. I know, sad, right?

Society has become consumed with ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Around just about every water cooler in America, you can join in discussions on hybrid vehicles, global warming, alternative energy sources, organically grown produce, and even how you can take advantage of Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Programs. Almost everyone is eager to pitch in and do their part to save the planet. We have the best of intentions, but we’re creatures of habit and making these changes just doesn’t come naturally to most of us.

Thankfully, the Lord cares more about how we have responded to His question, “Do you understand what I have done for you? (John 3:13, NIV),” than he does about our response to “Paper or plastic?” Certainly, I am not telling you to quit recycling, buy the car that will guzzle the most gas, use as much water as possible, or use enough aerosol hairspray to get 80’s big hair. I am simply reminding us all that while being environmentally friendly may make us feel like we are contributing to society or doing our part, we must never forget that it is ultimately God, not the size of our carbon footprint that will determine the end of the Earth as we know it and the beginning of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1, NIV).

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