Because of Easter's late appearance this year, we have an interesting dual holiday. Not only is today that time when Christians are marking the death of Jesus on the cross, it's also the day many of us think to don our tie-dyed T-shirts and recommit ourselves to the protection of our planet on Earth Day.
As I sat watch in the chapel overnight, I got to musing about the connections between the two events. "The world", humanity, crucified Jesus because of greed, lies, threats to power, jealousy, anger. "Our world", the planet, is being crucified by humanity because of greed for oil, corporate lies, threat to losing power, and the covetness that makes us want to have lots of stuff. We have neglected to see the connection that the evangelist John was making in his version of the gospel when he says, "In the beginning there was the Word and the Word was with God..." It doesn't take much to see the author making a reference back to the text of Genesis, "In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep..." Somewhere along the way in Christendom, we seem to have lost our way when it comes to the planet. We don't think as much about the way that our planet is very Christ-like and hence imbued with God's love for us. We're content with staring at a Corpus Christi and feeling all the emotions that come up as we consider our God's death upon the cross for our sins. But aren't we crucifying God with every Deepwater Horizon-like well we drill into the Gulf of Mexico?
I wrote a monologue last fall for the Mickee Faust Club called, "A Word from Mother Earth" in which the planet was portrayed as a Jewish mother. After a guilt-laden litany of abuses that are committed against Mother Earth like pollution and drilling and leaving cigarette butts on the beach, she looks at the audience and cries out, "Is this the way you 'Honor your Mutha?!'"
Indeed, is it?
Perhaps this is a Good Friday to remember that when God "so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son" that statement of love extended beyond just humanity but to all mammals and creation. We've done enough crucifixion. Time to move in the direction of Easter and finding new ways to sustain and care for our world.