Can Christians Celebrate Earth Day?

Can Christians Celebrate Earth Day?
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The first Earth Day was created on April 22, 1970. That initial celebration inspired people worldwide to recognize the importance of caring for the Earth and its inhabitants. Today, over 1 billion folks find ways to show others how to protect and love the planet. Communities of families, friends, strangers, neighbors, churches, college campuses, and other groups find ways to share about the needs and the positive outlook for the future of planet Earth.

New laws dealing with the environment have been established due to the dedication and hard work of concerned people. In 1970, Earth Day helped create new environmental laws in the United States. The Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Act is one law. The Environmental Protection Agency was formed the same year.

Along with laws for the environment, a Climate Literacy Campaign was formed. This enables students to be educated about global issues. Teachers and students in about 149 countries participate in programs to raise awareness of the need to protect and maintain the Earth.

Learning to care for the Earth, the air, and everything God created is vital to human existence.

As events are organized and held, how can we participate and share the love of God through words and actions? How can individuals spread the word about taking care of Earth? What does God say about His creations and how we are to care for them?

Does your community or church talk about Earth Day? How can we encourage others to be mindful in caring for God’s creations?

Further Reading: 4 Reasons Why Christians Should Support Earth Day

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What Does God Say About Taking Care of His Creations?

The Bible tells us the order in which God chose to make His creations. 

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the deep surface, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1-3 NIV)

Through each action, God was creating and preparing for the future. He made the day and the night. God also made the sky, the dry ground, and the seas. God brought forth land that would produce vegetation, including seed-bearing plants and trees.

God made the stars, the sun, and the moon. He brought forth animals such as birds and sea creatures. God created livestock, wild animals, and creatures that moved on the ground. Then, He created man and woman.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NIV)

Scripture shares that God took the man and woman and put them in the Garden of Eden. They were supposed to take care of the garden.

Our call is to care for everything God has made and given to us. The earth and everything belong to God. 

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NIV)

Further Reading: The Christian Responsibility to Care for Creation

Photo Credit:©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Margarita Balashova 

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How Can We Celebrate Earth Day with Our Family?

The United States celebrates Earth Day on April 22nd of each year. Other places in the world celebrate Earth Day when the spring equinox occurs. Either day, recognizing Earth Day can be a special bonding event for families.

Perhaps you have visited various websites or social media sites looking for ways to celebrate Earth Day with your family. 

Some ways to recognize and celebrate Earth Day as a family are by planting trees, creating Earth Day artwork, starting a garden and recording each plant’s growth, and making bird feeders.

These simple actions can bring awareness about the planet. 

Consider visiting a local garden nursery. Speak with the experts and ask which plants grow best in your area. Learn about the importance of soil nutrients and how to have the proper environment for each plant. Nurseries sometimes offer free workshops to the community.

Create artwork featuring drawings of Earth, trees, plants, the four seasons, and people. Another project could include photographs of various nature scenes. Ask about displaying the artwork at schools and libraries. There may be a bulletin board or area at your church that can focus on Earth Day.

Make a bird feeder with a pinecone, peanut butter, and bird seed. Cover the cone with peanut butter, sprinkle seeds onto the cone, and hang the feeder with twine. 

Neighborhoods sometimes have a day for trash pick-up and a day for recycling pick-up. Check your community website for accepted recyclable items.

Find Scripture about God creating the Earth and how we are called to care for it.

Further Reading: What Is the Church’s Responsibility in Creation Care?

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How Can We Celebrate Earth Day as a Church?

Does your church celebrate Earth Day? What special activities are promoted?

Churches can consider having community gardens and taking part in local recycling efforts to help improve the local environment.

Another way churches can celebrate Earth Day is through the sermon or message. Clergy can focus on Scripture about creation and God’s love. Prayers of thanksgiving can be offered during service. Sunday School classes can use the day to remember God’s blessings and mercies. The bulletin for worship service can include ways to help celebrate Earth Day. Coloring pages with pictures of the Earth may be included in the bulletin.

We also know that caring for people (especially those less fortunate) can become part of caring for the Earth itself. When we help people in need (through nationwide projects like the Presbyterian Hunger Program and small projects like our local soup kitchen), we offset some poverty. Many times, when we help people’s immediate needs (vegetables and fruit, community gardens, even backpacks for school) we are helping handle the effects that environmental issues (such as air pollution) have on the local economy.

We also can support programs (education for children so they can become better informed about the environment, resources for people to start community gardens or recycling projects) that promote environmental health while improving people’s lives. We can provide funds to purchase food, gardens, and school supplies.

Can you think of other ways churches can celebrate Earth Day?

Further Reading: What Should Christians Know about Going Green?

Photo Credit:©Getty Images/Tetiana Soares

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How Can We Celebrate Earth Day with Our Neighbors?

Celebrating Earth Day with your neighbors can bring fun, fellowship, and ways to connect. The world is busy, and sometimes we don’t see our neighbors and have a chance to chat. Folks are going to work, school, church, and journeying through different experiences. Having the opportunity to celebrate Earth is a great way to connect or reconnect.

Some neighborhoods hold lawn parties on Earth Day. Neighbors bring out their lawn chairs, blankets, food to share, games to play, and more. Maybe a picnic table could be set up with a craft area to make nature bracelets. One way to make unique bracelets is to find clover or dandelions and tie them together to make bracelets.

Another bonding activity is for everyone to take trash bags and pick up trash in the area. You may have noticed “clean-up crews” on highways and small roads. Usually, the people wear brightly colored vests to ensure they are seen in highly-traveled areas.

Along with trash pickup, another idea is to clean up debris in yards. From fallen branches to weeds in a flower bed, yard maintenance helps keep Earth looking good.

Taking a walk with neighbors can help people get to know each other while enjoying God’s creations. Some neighborhoods organize bike rides throughout the community. Notice the various flowers blooming. Look for different kinds of animals. Make a checklist and have a scavenger hunt of things to find in nature.

Further Reading: Why It’s Wrong for Christians to Mistreat Creation

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How Can Prayer Complement Our Earth Day Celebrations?

Prayer is a great part of the Christian life and we can integrate it into Earth Day as well as other events.

As each activity is completed, say a prayer and thank God for neighbors, nature, and ways to have fun with friends. Write the prayers on paper and add the date. Keep those prayers in a jar and look at them often. Draw pictures of the different things you see in your surroundings.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied.” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-39 NIV)

May today be a day filled with ways of celebrating the Earth. Pause and consider ways to care for the Earth. God has given us many ways to enjoy everything He has made. We can show gratitude and love by respecting and caring for His creations.

Recycling, making artwork, and teaching others about the Earth and how to care for it, sharing fellowship and fun on Earth Day with family and friends, and other activities are a few ways of taking care of the Earth and showing the love of God.

Let’s end our discussion with a prayer we can all say for Earth Day.

Further Reading: What Does the Bible Say about Climate Change?

Photo Credit:©GettyImages/AntonioGuillem

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A Prayer for Earth Day

Father, thank You for creating the Earth. Guide us to find ways to care for Your creations. Help us to be good stewards of everything from You. Remind us to be thoughtful and compassionate to others and the Earth. Father, help us show respect for the Earth through actions such as recycling, picking up trash in neighborhoods, planting seeds, and assisting them in growth with water and proper nutrients. Be with neighbors as they gather for nature walks and bike rides. Show us ways to teach each generation how to support the efforts of those dedicated to tending to the Earth. Show families how to work together to make bird feeders and homes for birds. Guide us to pause and enjoy Your creations. Please make us aware of those in need and how we can aid. Cover volunteers with Your protection as they serve to provide food and supplies to those in need. In each word and action, help us to glorify You. We give thanksgiving and praise to You for all creations and for allowing us the opportunity to share Your love with others. May our words and actions shine Your glory to others. Amen.

In His Name,

Melissa Henderson

Related Podcast: How important is the age of the earth to the overall story of Scripture, the gospel, and our mission in the world?

Further Reading: What Is God’s Creation? How Are Christians Supposed to Care for It?

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This article originally appeared on Christianity.com. For more faith-building resources, visit Christianity.com. Christianity.com

Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com

Can Christians Celebrate Earth Day?