What are you doing Friday, April 22, 2011? This year both Good Friday and Earth Day fall on the same day. Both celebrations call us to think about just exactly what we're doing with our lives.
On Good Friday, Christians everywhere recall how Jesus suffered the died on the cross because he loved each one of us.The gospel account recalls that he did this even in spite of betrayal and denial of even his closest followers. Whether we're religious or not, the very thought of anyone caring enough to give up even life itself for another is haunting. What do we do for others? Are we looking for ways to help and nurture the people in our lives? Do we care enough to help them? Or, are we among those who would crush others in our march toward wealth and power?
Earth Day, no less thought provoking, reminds us that our very existence depends on the well-being of the earth. We would not be here but for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods that spring from the earth. And yet…are we doing our fair share to ensure that the earth is cared for? Or are we among those who prefer to take and waste and destroy the source of our life? Are we polluting and killing off the earth? Are we using the limited natural resources the earth has to offer wisely? Are we replenishing and replacing what we use?
We don't have to die on a cross to demonstrate our love for mankind. We don't have to give up enjoyment of all the earth has to offer. But we do have a responsibility. We are part of something very much bigger than ourselves – on both a spiritual and a natural level.
So far we haven't done that good a job of giving back. wars, poverty, refuse in our streets and in our hearts are everywhere to remind us. News reports of diminishing natural resources call us to task even while we look the other way, anxious to avoid and deny the the possibility that we are shirking our responsibility.
What can we do? Well, we didn't get here in a single day. And we won't rectify the problems that surround us in a single day either. But we can do a lot to turn the tide. A kind word… a helping hand to a neighbor in need… planting a seed,,,, reducing unnecessary waste of the resources we take for granted (like electricity and gas),,, picking up the trash that litters our yards….it all can help.
Friday, April 22, 2011 many will take time off to commemorate Good Friday and Earth Day. But why do we need a single day to remind us that we have work to do and responsibilities when so much has been given to us?
The good news is that both Good Friday and Earth Day hold promise of resurrection, revival and plenty. We can enjoy the fruits, if we embrace our responsibilities.