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July 22, 2010

Earth to Humanity: You are Really Blowing It

Excerpt from Hosea 4:1-19

Therefore the land mourns,
and all who live in it languish;
together with the wild animals
and the birds of the air,
even the fish of the sea are perishing.

Reflection by Lillian Daniel

News flash from the Gulf of Mexico―the fish of the sea and the birds of the air have had it. So have the people who once earned their living through fishing. So have the families of the people who died on the oilrig. So have the volunteers who wash oil off of drowning birds and pick up sticky goop from the shores. Earth to humanity―you  people are really blowing it.

In this Old Testament reading, the prophet Hosea says just that. God's natural creation cries out in agony due to the selfish behavior of God's people. What had they done back then? Did they forget to put out the recycling or fly when they could have taken the bus? No, Hosea lived too early for those current day mistakes.

But even back then, God sent a prophet to warn us that it's not just about how we treat one another. The earth and its other inhabitants matter, too.

These days I prefer the term global weirding to global warming. To an average person, the weather doesn't seem to be getting steadily warmer, but it sure is getting weirder. Clearly, we can mess with our environment with devastating effects.

But we are also able to hide from those effects, by ducking into an air-conditioned room or by turning off the television to avoid disturbing scenes.

Today, let's not ignore those scenes. Let's not ignore the weather. If the fish and the birds are crying, let's listen.

Prayer
Compassionate God, give me a passion for justice for the creatures who cannot speak, but still can cry. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of the First Congregational Church, UCC, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Her new book, This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers, co-authored with Martin B. Copenhaver, has just been published.

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The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is a free service and is supported by your gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission. Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America,adapted. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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