Celebrating Earth Day

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and I’m celebrating with people all over the world! Dozens of online activities are taking place throughout the day.

But the reality is, at first, I didn’t feel at all like celebrating. The gravity of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is hard to bear. In the midst of suffering and death, it can feel almost impossible to celebrate anything.

So I went to my computer to begin my work day, not in a festive mood. As I checked out what was happening online, I saw an Earth Day greeting from Pope Francis. A line from his document that grabbed my attention was:

“In today’s celebration of Earth Day, we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home. This should make us all the more aware that we stand on holy ground!”

In the document, he talks about the plight of the Earth, effected by human activity. He speaks of our responsibility to care for the Earth and urges all of us to work together so that our individual efforts can make a big difference.

His closing lines include the phrase, “In this Easter season of renewal….” That also caught my attention. In some ways, it still feels like Lent to me, but indeed, we are in the Easter season. Christ is risen. New Life is with us, offering hope and assuring us that death is not the final word.

In the spirit of the Easter season, I checked into some of the online activities for Earth Day. One that I’m following is Earth Day Live, a livestreaming event featuring scientists, artists, religious leaders, civic leaders, and many others from around the world.

Pope Francis is on the schedule for 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time, so I’m definitely going to tune in then!

May you have a wonderful, grace-filled Earth Day!