Let heaven celebrate! Let the earth rejoice!
Let the sea and everything in it roar!
Let the countryside and everything in it celebrate!
Then all the trees of the forest too
will shout out joyfully — Psalm 96:11-12 (CEB)
The Bible is full of talk about Creation. Nature is not something separate from human beings. We are part of nature, deeply intertwined. Our faith and all of Creation are deeply interconnected. The Bible gives us human animals a special responsibility for caring for the rest of Creation. We are also given warnings about what can happen if we get disconnected from God and the rest of Creation.
The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers;
the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth dwindled,
and few people are left. —Isaiah 24:4-6 (NRSV)
This weekend in worship we will celebrate Creation. We will also struggle with how to think about the current “environmental crisis” that so many people are talking about. What are we to do, as followers of Jesus Christ?
We are fortunate to be joined in both services on Sunday morning by another impressive ISU professor: Dr. Joan M. Brehm. We will have the chance to ask her a few questions and to learn from her many years of studying and teaching about these issues. You can read a short bio. about Dr. Brehm below.
At 10:30, our church Green Team will be leading our children in constructing worm compost boxes. Plan to drop by the Fellowship Hall to see this in action.
If you have not seen this video about the wolves of Yellowstone, it is probably worth a couple of minutes of your time.
Even if some of the claims made MAY be a little exaggerated or simplistic, it encourages us to think about the interconnection of nature and what happens when we humans begin taking out some of the species that God created over the many centuries of our planet.
I look forward to worshiping with you this weekend!
DR. JOAN BREHM: Joan M. Brehm received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Utah State University and earned her M.A. from The University of Montana. She is currently a Professor and Department Chair for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Illinois State University. Her areas of expertise are the human dimensions of natural resources/environment, community, and demography. Her specific research interests center on the role of natural environment amenities, values, and attitudes in community attachment and their relationship to community well-being and ecological health. Her current research projects focus on examining barriers to homeowners’ adoption of best management practices for lawn care to protect water quality in the Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen watersheds and an assessment of the impacts of climate change and fisheries practices on lake health in Lake Tanganyiika in Tanzania.