Clergy Reflection – April 29, 2017

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

One of the great joys of my life is sitting by the marsh in our backyard. Bill and I have a couple of chairs back there, and from their seats we can survey a large beautiful marsh, cattails, grasses, woods, damp breezes, and a myriad of wildlife. In the evenings, there are peepers chirping away. During the day I’ve seen turtles, deer, fox, turkeys, frogs, fish, and countless birds. Just this morning I saw a duck land on the water, and watched as a hawk circled up above. (There is a picture of the marsh below) It is a great place for a cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night. It is also one of my favorite prayer spaces.

Being in nature makes me feel closer to God. To be on a mountaintop, or in the woods, or the desert, or on the ocean, or even by a marsh makes one know something deep about our Creator and ourselves.

Psalm 24:1 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it.”

In other words, God loves not only humanity, but trees, and lakes, and elephants, and mountains, and lobsters, and air. How we treat what belongs to God (the entirety of the earth and all that is on it) is of great concern to God. God Himself became part of the earth when He incarnated as Jesus. God entered into the Creation.

Last Saturday was Earth Day, a secular holiday, but with a very Christian message. As Christians, we should be concerned with, and respond to, pollution, endangered animals, deforestation, and any actions which affect the climate or the wellbeing of life on our sacred planet. In the Episcopal Church, we also celebrate Rogation Days. This year they will be honored on May 22 – 24. This is a fifth century celebration when Christians request abundant crops and express gratitude for the goodness of the earth which God has given us. In contemporary times it also includes the importance of caring for creation.

On this beautiful, warm Friday I encourage you to hug a tree, or feel the ocean breeze, or tend a garden, or gaze over a marsh, and offer thanks to God in Christ for this good earth.

You are very dear to me and to God in Christ.

Faithfully yours,

Stephanie+