Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to the conflict of 2011!
Easter, the holiest of holy days, versus Earth Day, the new kid in town.
In this corner, we have a two thousand year old Christian holy day that is celebrated around the globe! This holy day is the greatest of all Christian celebrations; a celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus and His triumph over sin and death! Let's hear it for EASTER!!!! *cheers*
And in this corner, we have a forty year old celebration of the earth and how to care for it! A day, set aside to build awareness of the earth's ecosystems and man's impact on them. A day celebrated by children and adults alike with a variety of activities such as tree plantings and nature walks. Let's hear it for EARTH DAY!!!! *cheers*
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a conflict that occurs only once every few years. Sure, both of these days have taken place in April in years ast. But this year Earth Day is making a full frontal assault on Good Friday, Easter's wingman!
And now for the main event! Are the contestants ready? Then, let the round begin! *Ring, Ring, Ring*
Both Easter and Earth Day have made their way to the center of the ring. They're checking each other out; circling around and around the ring. What's this?! Easter is talking to Earth Day! I can't believe this! It's unprecedented! Now Earth Day is talking to Easter!
This can't happen! These two are mortal enemies! Aren't they? Now, they're leaving the ring together! A hush has fallen over the crowd. What's that? Ladies and Gentlemen, I can't believe what I've just heard! As Easter and Earth Day passed by this journalist, I overheard Easter say, "Earth Day, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Ok, I can get a little carried away from time to time. But the point is, Easter and Earth Day don't need to compete with each other. Easter has always been a celebration of New Life through the Resurrection. The symbols of eggs, bunnies, baby chicks and ducklings are intended to remind us of new life; the kind we get through the Resurrection. Those earthly creatures are part of God's creation; part of earth.
Obviously, Easter trumps Earth Day in spiritual importance. I am in no way trying to suggest that the two are equal. But as I've tried to make clear through my ministry, the two holidays are not mutually exclusive of one another. They are connected in the spirit of Christian stewardship and spirituality.
Believing in the Resurrection brings with it many implications for our lives. Loving God above all else and loving your neighbor as yourself. Taking care of the earth is one way we love our neighbor and one way we show our love for God.
So, tomorrow while you are taking time out of your day to remember the Passion of our Lord on the cross, take time to thank God for the gift of His Son and also His creation. Then, resolve to love God better throughout all parts of your life; both the spiritual and the physical.
Happy Earth Day and a Glorious Easter to you all,