Thursday, March 8, 2012

Week Four of Lenten Devotional 2012

Week Four of Lent
Feasting on God’s Gifts; Fasting in Sorrow
A Lenten Devotional by Presbyterians for Earth Care 2012

Psalm 107: 1, 19-20:

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress; he sent out his Word and healed them and delivered them from destruction.

John 3:17:
Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Many of you know that I am an ecoholic. I have to say, some of it definitely comes from my parents teaching us the importance of recycling and taking shorter showers. But a lot of it
comes from my own personal conviction that being green is a call to be responsible stewards of the gifts of Creation that God has given to us. As I delve deeper into the Scriptures, I realize that God is calling us to be faithful followers of Christ by caring for all that God created
– not just other people, but the entire Creation.

Working in the world of religious environmentalism for the past two years, I have definitely been living in what feels like a time of fasting from action, at least on the part of federal policy. No matter how much I try to conserve, to minimize my own footprint in the world, it feels worthless in comparison to the inaction and backward steps of Congress and even the international work through the United Nations. I sit, sometimes on the edge of my seat with bated breath and sometimes slumped over simply waiting for change to come. I hope that suddenly the light will go off for the decision makers the way it has for me and they will just “get it” – the need to take drastic and immediate action to combat our detrimental effect on the climate. But alas I wait in vain. At least it feels that way.

But the hope of the Gospel and the truth of Lent and Easter morning is that redemption is coming. Salvation is at hand. While we walk ever closer to the pain and loss of Good Friday in this season of Lent, we know that Easter Sunday is coming too. The hope and the joy of that first Easter morning are lived out every week that we gather together. And it is through this remembering of the cycle of life and death and resurrection that I gather my strength to continue to wait in hopeful expectation for the day when we will feast together at the celebration of God’s redemptive work for ALL of Creation.

Artist of souls, you sculpted a people for yourself out of the rocks of wilderness and fasting. Help us as we take up your invitation to prayer and simplicity, that the discipline of these forty days may sharpen our hunger for the feast of your holy friendship, and whet our thirst for the living water you offer through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Katie Preston is an M.Div graduate from Columbia Theological Seminary and a candidate for ministry in the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. For the last two and half years she has been working with Georgia Interfaith Power & Light to reach out to Presbyterian churches across the state, encouraging them to embrace efficiency and Care for Creation.

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