Earth Day of Resurrection
The Easter hymn – The Day of Resurrection, opens with the lyrics:
The day of resurrection!
Earth, tell it out abroad;
the passover of gladness,
the passover of God.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.
Often that second stanza of ‘Earth, tell it out abroad’ is imagined to be humanity speaking the news of resurrection, but I think the line means all of creation – the whole Earth.
You see Christ’s resurrection on Easter is way more than this cultural belief that Jesus’s triumph over death means when we die, we are faced with pearly gates and streets of gold vs fiery, eternal torment (this is more Dante than Scripture). It means all of creation is being made new in the resurrection of Jesus. (See Rev. 21, Isaiah 65:17-25, Col 1, 2 Cor. 5, 1 Cor 15). Because God raised Jesus’ body from the dead and gave him a new body, this suggests that God is very interested in creation. That this creation that God lovingly made, earth, sea, sky, plants, animals, people, the universe was not designed to be disposable. Once you die it doesn’t matter, but that it all is precious to God and as sin and death muck it up, God is working to reconcile, redeem and resurrect all of creation for all people and all time.
How appropriate it is to celebrate Earth Day in Eastertide, the season we celebrate Easter and resurrection. Earth Day is a faithful way to celebrate the renewing of all life and like Easter, caring for creation and living as people of resurrection isn’t isolated to a day, but a call to a particular (and perhaps peculiar) way of life. One that hopes beyond hope there is more to life than the worst we can do and so we are called to be God’s servants in proclaiming and embodying the new life of Easter – whether it is souls or soil – our Easter based faith calls us to care for all of creation.
Happy Earth Day of Resurrection,