By way of coincidence, this year Good Friday falls on Earth Day, a recently established global celebration of our island home. While at first glance todays texts would appear to have nothing to do with commemorating this little blue and green marble, I hope you will join me in reflecting on some of the issues at stake (and that in the process you and I might better understand who we, as Gods people, are called to be).
The death of Jesus is a cosmic event. The world is changed. Christ who is elsewhere described as the creator (e.g., Colossians 1:15-20) and the one upon whom all creation awaits for salvation (Romans 8:19-22) is redeeming the world. The Christian hope of redemption is not some otherworldly reality, but a renewal of this earth, this home. We get a glimpse of the earthly significance of Jesus’ death in Matthew 27:51 where we are told that upon his death the earth shook and rocks were split.
And the earth is in need of redemption. It is groaning. Today, when we remember Christs death, we see hints of our fragile planet suffering as well. Weather patterns are less predictable, ecosystems are disrupted, species are disappearing, mounds of trash continue to grow, and on and on. All of these shifts also take a toll on those who are poorest and most vulnerable.
So what has Good Friday to do with Earth Day? To this day, God is redeeming and healing of all creation. God calls us to be about that work as well. Today at 3:00, when the bell peals, give thanks for God’s restoring work in Christ and pray for the healing of God’s earth. Commit to following Jesus way of life and redemption.