Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Earth Day?

Today is a day that's pulling double duty.  April 22 is, every year, Earth Day.  But because Easter this year falls on April 24, today is also Good Friday. 

I was feeling kind of torn about that.  I love Earth Day, I'm one of the earth-friendliest people I know: I recycle, use canvas bags, compost, dine with cloth napkins, and even occasionally bring my own Tupperware to restaurants so I don't have to use a disposable styrofoam container.  I kinda feel that Earth Day was invented for people like me.

But today is also Good Friday.  It's the day where Christians recall Christ's death on the cross, as atonement for our sins.  It's heavy and dark and somber.  It's a day for repentance and reflection.

Christians often have to straddle a fine line when it comes to the intersection of the holy and the secular.  Many Christian holidays are often mixed with ideas and images entirely non-religious.  Every Christian is aware of the struggle between this and this: 

This and this:

But Earth Day verses Good Friday, that is one I've never had to reconcile before, because they usually don't share a day.  I wanted to be happy and plant flowers and go to Starbucks and get free coffee with my reusable mug, but that seemed too trite for Good Friday.  It seemed like the soldiers obliviously casting lots for Jesus' cloths, indifferent to the world changing event happening right by them.  I even changed my facebook status from "Happy Earth Day" to "A good Good Friday" because really, Christ's death on the cross should take preeminence today. 
This is happy and fun: 

This is not:

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized the two days can find some common ground.  Why did Earth Day come about in the first place?  Because people realized that our world is hurting, and they wanted to see things get better.  I'm sure the founders of Earth Day weren't looking at things from a Christian perspective, and I'm by no means claiming that it's a Christian "observance", but the Bible does speak of creation being under the same weight of sin as us humans.  "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now."  Romans 8:22

Recycling and composting and picking up trash on the side of the road is all good.  It's very good in my opinion, but it's not good enough.  It never will be.  As much as I want to preserve the beautiful places of this world, there will always be pollution, destruction, and death.  But here is what is good enough: Christ defeating death by dying on the cross and rising again.  His resurrection was the start of pushing back the grip sin has on creation.  And the best part is, when He returns again, all things will be made new.  Romans 8:18-24 expands this thought even more: "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies, For in this hope we were saved."

God has promised us that when Jesus returns, all things will be made new.  "But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells." 2 Peter 3:13  This is talking about the actual earth.  It will be restored and perfect, like the Garden of Eden, only better.  (Take a peek at Revelation if you want to see more of what the new earth will look like.)

So Earth Day is a good day.  But Good Friday is the day that ensures that all the hopes of Earth Day will, one day, come true. 

The wolf shall dwell with the Lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. 


  1. You are the most earth friendly gal I know, but you are also such an inspiration in faith to myself and others. Keep up your amazing attitude!! And a somber Good Friday to you.

  2. :-) I love this! What a wonderful perspective, Thank you!

  3. BTW any tips on recycling while living in a small apartment...I always want to try, but we don't have the space...

  4. You'll be happy to know that Northglenn is starting a recycling program with their trash. This is my dream come true. Now I don't have to feel guilty and it's super convenient for me to recycle. HOORAY!

  5. And you said you didn't want to blog because of the writing part. You write so well! Thanks for sharing this.