Today is earth day. It is also good friday.
It all gives me pause, I mean, we live in a time when religion (or spirituality if you prefer) has become immanenitized (denying transcendence, otherness...making everything meaningful here in our plane of existence). That is to say that we have moved our faith and hope away from a God who is truly "other" (though in radical relation to us) and placed them in things much closer to view: the environment. Our day is one where environmentalism has some very real religious components. Today is one of those components: the high holy day we call Earth Day.
Religious environmentalism has its "big days:" earth day, arbor day, and international mother earth day. It also has its own liturgy: "reduce, reuse, recycle," and "think globally act locally." Its liturgical leaders are usually folk singers like Pete Seeger, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, Woody Guthrie, Dar Williams, etc. I could press the analogies further showing environmentalism as a new immanent religion parodying Christianity (i.e. it has its own selling of indulgences....carbon tax credits...!), but you get the point.
And today, this high holy holiday falls on Good Friday. To me this is weird.
I love the "environment," though I hate calling it that. I prefer the term "creation," because its economy transcends an us/it dichotomy; it puts into view the truth that all being is a gift. That said, I do not think worship of the earth is correct, nor do I think secularizing the world by calling it nature/environment is correct either. That simply denies its givenness.
But Good Friday is here, and Easter Sunday is approaching. It is the time when we remember that Christ died "once for all." Jesus gave his life "for the life of the world" in order that the wounding of our world would be healed. The incarnation is not only for the good of humanity, but it is good for the cosmos as a whole. God works to redeem all gifted being: everything!
So maybe reflecting on Earth Day in light of Good Friday and Easter might be the right approach to Earth Day! The Earth is redeemable in the eyes of God, and the only way we can help it flourish is to live in it/with it the way God intended: gracefully.
No more implications on how to do this today...just live gracefully toward others, and all the rest of creation!