The following is going to be a little out there for some of you. It's a little out there for me. I usually keep politics and religion off my blog. Not today. You have been warned.
Today is Good Friday. And Earth Day. As someone who cares deeply about the planet and conservation, but who is also a Christian, I am often conflicted. It would seem that many of the Christians I know believe that conservationism is best left to the democrats. And of course you can't be a Christian and a democrat. (That was sarcasm, by the way.) Most of the time I feel like I don't fit in anywhere, but that's a story for another day. I find it interesting though that we need Earth Day for the very reason that we need Jesus and Good Friday. Stick with me, here.
After the fall in the garden, God punished Adam and Eve
16 To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’
“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”
So what have we done? Everything in our power to escape the consequences of being being kicked out of the garden. Chemical fertilizers pollute our water supplies. We've covered our crops in pesticides to make them easier to grow. The suffix -icide means someone or something that kills a particular person or thing, or the act of killing. I don't know about you, but I don't really want poison on my food. We eat an awful lot of produce in our household, as I only cook vegetarian. Even if you don't eat as much produce as we do, your meat does. I have to think that all that poison is going to catch up with us eventually. We buy organic as much as possible but there is a vast price difference.
And oh, how we've (literally) butchered childbirth! What should be a lovely, natural experience has turned into an emotionally traumatic event for so many women. All because we were trying to escape the pain. I won't say more, because this one is still very raw for me.
So I think it's appropriate that we should remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us on a day when we also consider the planet that He created for us. Because really, if we were still living in the garden, Christ would never have needed to make that sacrifice. If we were still living in the garden, caring for the Earth would be what we naturally did. Today, when you're thanking God for the price that He paid for us, maybe you could take a moment to thank him for the beautiful Earth He made for us to live in. Or maybe you could hug a tree and remember that lonely cross that the Lord hung on to save us.