Third Sunday Reflection
by Dick Gibson
Praise God for the creation, this day and every day. Give glory to God who made our garden home.
During this Lenten season, we do not focus on what we can give up, but look for what we can do to be faithful: peacemaking, respecting others, caring for the earth. Give God the glory with your daily routines.
Saving creation takes time. Our Synod pastors had meetings in the late ‘80’s and 90’s to talk about earth care, exploring what we could do. Many were ahead of us. Changing light bulbs, insulating windows and buildings, planting rain gardens, preventing oil and waste in our sewers - little things each one could do to care for our garden home.
Now some thirty years later we are still at it. We helped to clean a small neighborhood stream so salmon could flourish. We changed our laws to keep tour boats away from the Orcas. Our church and community are forming teams to reduce our carbon footprint with a program called “Taming Bigfoot”.
Jesus was angry with the money-changers and animal sellers in the Temple courtyard. They were not giving glory to God. They had been there for a very long time, but on this day he made them leave, angry, he drove them out. It was a teaching moment. It was setting an example, asking people to focus on God. Jesus planted a seed, showing us how to think about our values and what it means to give God the glory. (John 2:13ff)
So for us, the work and witness to our values goes on, one step each day, persistence pays off as there is less carbon, cleaner streams, more fish, cleaner air. And we keep at it, day after day, year after year. The Earth IS the Lord’s. It is God’s gift to us, to care for in our day, minute-by-minute, year-by-year.
Prayer: Lord God, give us the strength to hold on to our values. Help us to stay steady over many days and years. We praise you for giving us all good things in our garden home. Guide our steps as we plant one tree, heal one stream, enable one butterfly. Use our hands, feet and voices to proclaim your praise, as we witness for your creation.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rev. Dick Gibson is a retired minister, having served in Oregon and NW Coast Presbytery. Dick has been a member of the GA committees on the Self Development of People, Hunger, Peacemaking, Fossil Free PCUSA and a Hunger and Earth Care Advocate. Dick and his wife, Christine, live in Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle, and enjoy time with their children and grandchildren when not traveling or watching their carbon footprint!