Slideshow image

Back to the Earth

Next Wednesday, 22 February, Ash Wednesday, begins our 40 day journey through Lent to Easter.  Scripture reminds us that our Christian story is intimately connected to the well being of the earth and all of its inhabitants. Paul tells us that all of creation is groaning. The climate crisis, or perhaps climate chaos confirms that creation is indeed groaning.    Randy Woodley writes in Salvation Means Creation Healed, “As Christians, when we hear of climate change we don’t think only of science and economics.  We think of the groaning of creation, and we think ecologically.”  The well-being of the earth and all of its inhabitants is imbedded in our Christian faith.

Lent calls us to return to the earth, our home, God’s loving creation.  In Genesis God filled the earth with an amazing array of creatures and seems to delight in the profusion….” And God saw that it was good.” (Gen 1:21) Later when God ordered up the ark he decreed an everlasting covenant with earth, telling Noah “…between me and you and every living creature…for all future generations. “  (Gen 9:12) This covenant has never been revoked between God – humans – creatures, and largely defines humans stewardship on earth.  

In preparation for Ash Wednesday here is a prayer by Janice MacLean, from Prayer Bench:

Ash Wednesday brings us back to Earth.
What are these ashes?
Perhaps they are last Easter’s palm hosanna’s waved in joy,
now presented to the fire.
Once full of life, 
now grey-shadowed dust
transformed, and lying in a waiting bowl.
Ash Wednesday brings us back to Earth.
These are the ashes of return.
Hold out your hand.
Expose your forehead.
Take your stand.
Ready your heart.
For this dark mark of Love
brings us back to Earth
Earth, so loved.
Ash Wednesday brings us back to Earth.