Earth Day, Holy Week, and the Episcopalians

An agency of the Episcopalian Church has put out some resources people can use to more fully honor Earth Day, which just happens to coincide with Good Friday this year. (ht: Get Religion blog)

Here is the introduction to the page.

This year, Earth Day falls on Good Friday–a profound coincidence. On the day we mark the crucifixion of Christ, let us remember that when Earth is degraded and species go extinct, a part of God’s body experiences a different type of crucifixion, and another way of seeing and experiencing God is diminished.

To fully honor Earth Day, we need to reclaim the theology that knows Earth is “very good” and holy. When we fully recognize this, our actions will create a more sustainable, compassionate economy and way of life.

My first reaction was disbelief that anyone would try to bend Good Friday to make it fit into Earth Day.

My second reaction was, “Dear Lord, please don’t let there be a page like this on the UMC web site.”

I went and looked at the GBOD worship lectionary helps page, looked up Good Friday and was relieved. No suggestion to suggest the cross is somehow a symbol for the way we pillage the Earth to make instruments of death and injustice.

Then I went to the General Board of Church and Society. With fingers trembling, I typed “Earth Day” into the search window. The first result popped up. It was not about Good Friday. It was Easter!

Festival of God’s Creation Sunday – April 24!

I opened the page to find this reassuring paragraph half way down.

This year, Easter is celebrated on what would also typically be considered as Earth Day Sunday. Because of this coincidence, we encourage you to feel free to pick another Sunday to incorporate the Festival of God’s Creation into your service.

I found the “feel free” phrasing a bit too casual for my liking, but was happy not to find a liturgy guide for making Easter and Earth Day celebration.

Whew … near miss there.

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