Category Archives: God’s Creation

Encouraging news from the student world

Students at Bethel University plant a tree
Students at Bethel University plant a tree

Renewal” is the name of a relatively new student organization whose vision is to get students to “answer God’s call for renewal” of his creation.  Anna Jayne Joyner and Ben Lowe, both recent grads and therefore almost still students themselves, serve as coordinators.

Anna Jayne (“AJ” to her friends, I hear) just sent out this very encouraging report:

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A Hymn for Earth Day (and Easter)

On this 39th celebration of Earth Day, it doesn’t hurt to go back a few hundred years for some perspective.  (Thank you, Melanie!)

[CC License via Flickr]

Awake, Thou Wintry Earth
J. S. Bach  (from Cantata 129)

Awake, thou wintry earth,
Fling off, fling off thy sadness.
Ye vernal flowers, laugh forth,
laugh forth your ancient gladness.
A new and lovely tale
Throughout the land is sped,
It floats o’er hill and dale
To tell that death is dead.
Descended to the grave,
Where our beloved lie sleeping,
Hath Christ returned to save
Man’s heart from woe and weeping.

O earth, break forth and sing,
Renew thy bright array,
With fairest blooms of spring
Bestrew the Savior’s way.

(Thomas Blackburn)

Thoughts on Easter in springtime

Springtime flowers (Flickr - Creative Commons License)
Springtime flowers (Flickr - Creative Commons License)

These thoughts were originally written for a church devotional for Park Street Church in Boston, and comprised the main text of my newsletter to Care of Creation ministry partners last week.  They seemed worth preserving here as well.

“I am making everything new!” Rev. 21:5

It is not a coincidence that Easter occurs in the springtime.

Spring is exciting, especially for those of us who live in the frozen north, as we do in Wisconsin. Returning to our house recently, my wife and I pause and glance over our flower beds as we do often at this time of year. This time she gives a little cry of joy: Hidden beneath dead leaves and other leftovers from winter isa spot of green. As we bend to look, we see another and then another: the first signs of resurrection. Frozen in below-zero soil just a few weeks ago, the flowers are coming back to life. Continue reading

Reply to a questioner – does caring for creation really matter?

We occasionally receive comments through the Care of Creation website ‘contact us’ form wondering exactly what it is we’re talking about.  Some of these comments come from, um, cranks – but others are thoughtful and sincerely questioning.  Environmental stewardship as a central part of Christian ministry is new for a lot of people, and a comment that come through today was in that vein.

A couple of the things our inquirer said:

I have to ask just what is “environmental sin”? If Jesus had wanted this to be our “ministry” wouldn’t He have stated it?  …Do you believe that we can do nothing to stop the “groaning” of creation which is under the curse of sin? …I can definitely see the need to couple the gospel with compassion but to couple it with saving a planet that God says will eventually be destroyed by Him seems…er impractical at best.

I responded as below.  Those of you who have read my book or heard me speak will recognize that this is essentially what I’ve been writing and preaching for at least the last 10 years or so… Continue reading

Report from the Front Lines (I): Drought, hunger & possible famine in Kenya

Our organization, Care of Creation, has staff and projects in Kenya.  Craig Sorley, Care of Creation staff member and Director of Care of Creation-Kenya, our local organization in that country, recently sent us the following report.  Warning:  This is not for the faint of heart.

Right now in Kenya the gov’t has estimated that a full 25% of the population (10 million) is facing major food shortages, with famine looming right around the corner for many.  This is partly due to the poor harvests in 2008 from the election problems and the political unrest that ensued, and partly due to another drought that we”re facing.  You may recall the last major drought was in 2006. Continue reading