Today is Earth Day and I am thinking about creation. I will fully admit that in our house I too often place items that should be in the recycling in the garbage. Thanks goodness Mary Michael is passionate about the planet and is willing to make sure things get in the right place!
One of the first acts of creation care that I witnessed was a guy in Stone Mountain. This person would walk around picking up aluminium cans off the side of the road. I couldn’t image why he would spend time picking up cans until I understood that he was doing God’s work. He was redeeming creation.
The truth is that the earth is groaning. The earth is shouting and buckling under the weight of human consumption. This is not a liberal political issue. This is a spiritual issue. A high level reading of the Bible will give you a glimpse of God’s concern for creation.
Most everyone knows John 3:16- yet too many forget the very first part- “For God so loved the world.” Did you hear that?” God so loved the world.”
If Christians don’t care for creation, who will? Furthermore, if we set an example of crushing consumption, what sort of example does that set for others?
If that doesn’t get your attention, perhaps a change to your coffee cup will. The effects of our consumption are showing up in your coffee cup.
The plants that produce coffee beans are notoriously sensitive, and small changes in temperature and precipitation can have big impacts on coffee quality and quantity. “I often call coffee a Goldilocks plant. It likes it not too hot, not too cold. It likes it not too wet, not too dry. It doesn’t like too much sun, it doesn’t like too much shade,” says Peter Baker, who studies coffee for the nonprofit CAB I Bioscience. “The conditions are really quite limiting, and farmers have a real struggle, as we’ve seen in Colombia this last year or so — they’ve had the heaviest rainfall in recorded history really.” In Colombia, heavy rains cut coffee production by one-quarter last year
Eduardo Assad of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corp. says warm temperatures can cause coffee to flower early, reducing productivity. “The problem of coffee in Brazil is if you increase the temperature, you have problems of the flowering — this is the first problem,” he says. “The second problem is the water deficits.”
Can you imagine a world without coffee? Now I have your attention.
Today, we recognize that we can’t do everything, but we can do something. For starters, I am going to be better about finding the recycling can over the garbage can in our kitchen. I am going to be better about reminding people that this is a spiritual issue, and an important one at that.
Blessings on this day that we give thanks for God’s gift of creation and God’s call to care for creation.