upper room daily devotions

Monday, October 02, 2006

personal choice, mother earth, and the sanctity of (h)earth

despite my commitment to challenging the systems that create poverty, helping my glbt brothers and sisters find a home in the church and equal rights in their nation, and my yearning for peace, i believe that the most important and crucial issue facing us is the environment. thankfully, i don't believe that i have to neglect issues of poverty, personal liberty, and peace in order to address god's good earth. in fact, i believe they are all constitutive parts of god's peaceable kin-dom.

god commanded us to be stewards of the earth. we've done a pretty miserable job at it, too. as we move into stewarship season in our churches, a lot of churches will spend the time trying to increase the financial contributions of their members for the sake of next year's budgets. i am trying my hardest to get folks to make this "stewardship season" for their whole lives - at church and at home. i'm giving it a go in my home as well. i'm looking at ways that i can live more simply. i am reviewing all of the organizations to which i contribute money and i am making informed choices about next year's giving. and, i am looking at ways to make my home more kind to the earth and her inhabitants.

we can, one choice at a time, impact the earth in increadible ways. it is remarkable the amount of power that we have to heal the earth and to be the stewards that god would have us be - one house at a time, one light bulb at a time, one bleach free product at a time, one energy efficient appliance at a time. for those who live in the seattle area, there are financial incentives for making "green" choices in our homes. from solar powered hot water systems to tank free systems to the appliances that we purchase, the city has a program that encourages us to make ethical and moral choices that lay at the heart of good stewardship.

as a pastor who lives in a parsonage, i struggle with how much of my money i am willing to invest in a house that i don't own. for over a year, i have wanted to shift my hot water to solar power. it's almost financially possible, but it feels just out of reach - especially because the house is not mine. more and more i've been wanting to buy my own home so that i would feel more comfortable about the financial outlays that it will take to live as i think that i ought to. sometimes i wonder if this conflict is another excuse to maintain the status quo, though. is it any less good stewardship to leave this gift for the pastor who will follow me? i don't know where this internal conversation will lead...

if you are a home owner in the area, please check out the city's website that shows all of the ways they will support choices that make homes more friendly for the earth. some of the choices cost very little; some are very expensive.

however, not all personal choices to tend mother earth are expensive and prohibitive. we can, indeed, sanctify our hearths with small changes that require little expense. if everyone would just replace one light bulb with one that has an energy star label, we (the nation) would save $600 million in electricity bills and would prevent greenhouse gasses equivalent to 1 million cars(1). the epa's website contains a page where you can fill in a pledge to change just one light bulb and make a difference. please respond to the energy start change a light, change the world challenge and make the pledge. i encourage everyone i know to make the little changes because we all can. and, if and when we are privileged to be able to do it, we should make big ones.

the evidence is incontrovertible, the earth is dying because of our greed and misuse. the cure is also as clear: we can make a difference. we can heal the earth one personal choice at a time, and our mother earth will again be alive and vibrant along with all of her inhabitants. and, when we make these changes in our homes, we sanctify them and bless them with god's joy. that's why this blog is called personal choice, mother earth, and the sanctity of the (h)earth - the personal choices that we make at our hearth will forever affect our mother earth.

for more information about energy star, please go here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. I think you're right.

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