It’s The Only Planet We Have

Last weekend, three of us from Family of Christ – Carlye Peterson, Dave Thomsen, and me (Pr. Josh) – attended the always stimulating and enjoyable Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly.  Along with the camaraderie over coffee or meal breaks, and along with the hallways full of displays, we experienced worship together, and speakers and reports, music interludes, good humor, as well as resolutions and elections.  The overall theme this year was about environmental justice and what we, as Christians, can do to care for the Creation.  A retired seminary professor from New York was especially prophetic as he challenged us to understand how greatly the world has changed since he was born, to the present when his new grandson has been born.  When I asked Dave Thomsen to share a few reflections from the Assembly, you can see below that he was particularly moved by Dr. Larry Rasmussen’s presentation.  I’ll end this pondering with Dave’s email to me, as he is reflecting on the difficult news to bear about the challenges to our planet.     -Pr. Josh  

“According to Wikipedia, the estimated size of the observable universe is about 93 billion light-years in diameter.  For those who can relate to vast distances, that’s about 549 billion trillion (or 549 with 21 zeros behind it) miles across.  And we all live in that vastness on a very remote and small ball called Earth.  And for all our technology, in the few thousand years we humans have occupied in this place, we have not been able to go beyond it for any significant distances or in any significant numbers.  We’re stuck here, for better or worse!

And I could not help but think about our limitations of time and distance as I sat in the Minneapolis Area Synod Assembly this past weekend, the theme of which was, “In This Together: What the World Needs Now Takes All of Us.” 

In the assembly were hundreds of Lutherans from 143 congregations, spanning at most 108 miles between the two churches farthest apart in our synod.  We came from all walks of life, old and young, clergy, staff, and lay people, students and retirees, of various races and with guests from places as distant as Nigeria and North Dakota, with an interest in how we might preserve the very tiny place in the universe that an abundant God has generously provided for all of us, living now and in the future, along with the moral responsibility to ensure its resources are sustained and available to each and every one of us, without regard to race, gender, creed, or wealth.  None of us have the option of going elsewhere.

We must stop trashing our earthly home and separating ourselves from God’s creation, from nature, as though it is something to be used and abused. We Christians have an obligation to care for what our generous God has provided, wherein He dwells, as Martin Luther so eloquently stated 500 years ago: “The power of God is present at all places, even the tiniest tree leaf. Do you think that God is sleeping on a pillow in heaven? … God is wholly present in all creation, in every corner, behind you and before you.”   – By Dave Thomsen    

Thank you Dave, and let’s keep being the church together, everybody striving to be stewards of all God’s amazing gifts.  See you in church, where this week, we’ll welcome Pastor Deb Stehlin from our Synod as she leads us in the service of installation for Pastor Kimberly.

Categories: Ponderings