An Earth Day prayer

Earth Day is almost upon us, so Fred Hiltz, Mark MacDonald and Susan Johnson have pooled the considerable resources of their little green brain cells to pray for it.

Jesus’ Resurrection has become a handy illustration of what really matters: spring is just around the corner!

As we celebrate this great mystery we recall how he helped us understand death and resurrection using the image of a seed planted and coming out of the earth as a new growth—budding, bursting, blooming, bearing beautiful fruit.

And:

Our churches are committed to responsible stewardship of the earth.

That’s why the ACoC is demolishing so many of them.

The Carbon Pariah receives an honourable mention, even though the ACoC is using diesel fume spewing bulldozers to demolish its churches:

We recommend that you or your congregation get involved with the Faith Commuter Challenge, a creative way to reduce your carbon footprint and raise awareness of the impact of our actions

Naturally, we have muddled – twisted, really – wording to prompt right Gaia thinking: world – as in “for God so love the world” here seems to mean “earth” rather than “people”:

Through our Lenten Journey to Easter we have been reminded once again that Jesus offered his whole life and death for the love of the world

Speaking of God, Hiltz doesn’t, he refers to Creator instead, an Indigenous metaphysical replacement that Hiltz seems more comfortable with these days. Or perhaps he is referring to the process of Darwinian evolution.

Likewise, as far as I know, Father and Son have not made guest appearances in a Hilztian prayer for decades and, by the end of the prayer, the Holy Spirit has metamorphosed into “Spirit One”; who was Spirit Zero, I wonder?

2 thoughts on “An Earth Day prayer

  1. Hiltz seems to have forgotten “Seek first the Kingdom of God .. and all these other things will be added ..”, which other things I take to include the ethical which are secular.

    Here is Freeman Dyson on what I read as the spiritualisation (which Hiltz does with para-Christian language) of environmental concerns, including anthropogenic CO2 contribution to putative warming (which Dyson feels may not necessary be in toto a bad thing):

    “Environmentalism has replaced socialism as the leading secular religion. And the ethics of environmentalism are fundamentally sound. Scientists and economists can agree with Buddhist monks and Christian activists that ruthless destruction of natural habitats is evil and careful preservation of birds and butterflies is good. The world­ wide community of environmentalists – most of whom are not scien­tists – holds the moral high ground and is guiding human societies toward a hopeful future. Environmentalism, as a religion of hope and respect for nature, is here to stay. This is a religion that we can all share, whether or not we believe that global warming is harmful. Unfortunately, some members of the environmental movement have also adopted as an article of faith the belief that global warming is the greatest threat to the ecology of our planet. That is one reason why the arguments about global warming have become bitter and passionate. Much of the public has come to believe that anyone who is skeptical about the dangers of global warming is an enemy of the environment. The skeptics now have the difficult task of convincing the public that the opposite is true. Many of the skeptics are passion­ate environmentalists. They are horrified to see the obsession with global warming distracting public attention from what they see as more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet, including problems of nuclear weaponry, environmental degradation, and so­cial injustice. Whether they turn out to be right or wrong, their argu­ments on these issues deserve to be heard.” [ Freeman Dyson, Dreams of Earth and Sky ]

    The Christian Gospel is utterly clear on what is the first thing, to which all else, however otherwise meritorious, should be part of second things. There seems to be an innate tendency in people to glom onto anything that feels good, rather than the primary issue (dealing with which may involve pain). Hiltz as a natural man is not immune from that, but as Primate, with a spiritual task, he should stick to what is primary,

  2. Same thing in the Catholic Church: I tend to get a bit restive in the pew whenever a priest starts to meander into environmentalism territory. Yes, we need to try to be good stewards of God’s Creation: I get that. But Christians are not and can never be Earth-worshippers.

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