Posted by: smstrouse | September 1, 2011

Earth to Michelle: When Are You Going to Start Listening to Me?

Oh, Michelle!  You had the right idea – sort of – when you said “I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?'”

The thing is, hurricanes and earthquakes should be getting our attention.  But not as a message from a God who would create disasters and mayhem in order to make a point.  That’s not the God I believe in.  No, the message and the point are being made by the planet we’ve been trashing.

Climate change is real. Weather patterns are changing. Storms are more intense. There is evidence that earthquakes can be caused by hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the process of drilling a fracture in a rock layer and pumping in water, in order to extract natural gas. Our actions have had and are having consequences.

So, yes, Michelle, we really must start paying attention to the results of our mayhem. And by ‘we,’ I particularly mean people who call themselves Christian. The Christian church has certainly not been in the vanguard of the ecological movement (with the exception of visionaries like St. Francis and Hildegard of Bingen, among others). It’s been too concerned with individual salvation to be concerned with global survival. Although there are some signs of change.  Ecospirituality or Creation spirituality has become more mainstream. More and more resources, like Green Church by Rebekah Simon-Peter, are offering practical ways to be environmentally responsible, both as individuals and in our churches. Interfaith Power & Light: A Religious Response to Global Warming is a fantastic source of information and ideas.

Another advance iin increasing our awareness and commitment is the addition of a season of Creation to the church calendar. Granted, it’s still an optional season of the liturgical year. But I  believe its popularity will grow (this will be First United’s second year).  The Season of Creation charter (found at calls us to:

1. Celebrate Earth as a sacred planet filled with God’s vibrant presence.
2. Unite with all creation in praising the God of creation.
3. Confess our sins against creation and empathise with a groaning creation.
4. Embrace our kin in creation as our extended family.
5. Proclaim the good news that the risen Jesus is the cosmic Christ who fills and renews all creation.
6. Go forth on a mission to be partners with Christ in the healing of creation.

So Michelle, these are the kinds of things in which I see God at work.  I commend them to you. And I hope that you’ll start paying attention. Because I really don’t know how much more  Earth has to do. Or how much longer we’ll have to get the message.



  1. What it did accomplish was the creation of wealth for the military industrial complex.


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