Friday, January 25, 2013, DAY 8: Walking as children of the earth
Awareness of our place in God‘s creation draws us together, as we realize our interdependence upon one another and the earth. Contemplating the urgent calls to environmental care, and to proper sharing and justice with regard to the fruits of the earth, Christians are called into lives of active witness, in the spirit of the year of Jubilee.
I received a gift the other day. It had been a difficult day. I’d had a couple of encounters which led me to question whether my work was acceptable. I began to hear some very familiar tapes play over in my mind, tapes that convey one very powerful message:
“I am just not good enough. I need to prove that I am good enough.”
Do you know these tapes? The things we tell ourselves when we forget to whom we belong.
I was starting to retreat into myself. I didn’t want to be around others, a little passive aggression on my part perhaps….and then I received a gift.
My phone sounded and there was a text, “Get to churchhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” it said “I’m here…..”
It was a kid from youth group. There were other people at church, but she wanted me to be with her. As I looked at her words I recalled how very fond I am of this youth. Then I remembered how she and the rest of the group have taught me over the years that they love me just for being me, for showing up for them. They don’t measure my worth by how successful my work is thought to be. Here was this girl asking me to show up, and in the midst of all of my insecurity, I knew I had no choice, so I went.
I showed up and we hung out. We talked and laughed as we got dinner ready for rest of the group. “Come be with me – I’m here,” was all she said. Her ease in asking for what she needed and her desire to just have me around reminded me that we are deeply connected and I am loved not for what I do, but for who I am. Insecurities over my worth started to become less important.
We are children of the earth, deeply connected just because we are part of this creation. We need each other. If we try to prove our worth to ourselves or to others through the success, whatever that might mean, of the things we do, we will simply never be satisfied. There is always more to do, always something else to prove. In this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity it is worth considering how this dynamic plays out in the relationships between our churches. As we try to prove under our own steam that one way of following God is better than another, we cannot get to the peace God wants for us.
When we strive for value in this way we overlook the gifts we have already been given. As children of the earth we already have all we need. We are part of a creation with enough for all: enough Grace, enough resources, and enough room for all. And we are called and claimed by a God who powerfully desires to be with us and heal us through the things of this earth, through the sharing of our gifts and our lives.
In our deep connection to each other and to creation, God calls us to show up, to listen to each others’ stories and to the stories of the earth, to give thanks for each others’ gifts and the gifts of the earth, to recognize the needs around us. And as we respond, regardless of how secure we feel, we are reminded that we are each already good enough – beloved children of the earth, beloved children of God.
Thanks be to God.
Master of Divinity Student
Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry
God of life, we thank you for the earth, and for those who care for it and bring forth its fruits. May the Spirit, the giver of life, help us to recognize that we are part of creation‘s web of relationships. May we learn to cherish the earth and listen to creation‘s groaning. May we truly walk together in the steps of Christ, bringing healing to all that wounds this earth, and ensuring a just sharing of the things that it brings forth. God of life, lead us to justice and peace. Amen.
- Today‘s readings invite Christians into a deep unity of action in common concern for the earth. Where do we practice the spirit of the year of Jubilee in our life as Christians together?
- Where, in our Christian communities, are we complicit with things that degrade and exploit the earth? Where can we work more together in learning and teaching reverence for God‘s creation?