Politics aside, you have to admit that ours is one pretty planet. It may not be our "mother" but it is our home, and we don’t have a summer cabin elsewhere in the universe.
There’s no doubt about it – we live on a privileged planet. Considering the earth’s place in its galaxy, its proximity to the right kind of parent star for heat and light, its eccentric orbit, surface gravity, thin surface crust over a molten core, oxygen/water atmosphere, water/land ratio, and large, single moon to govern tides just to name a few facets, the statistical chances of there being another gem like this one anywhere else are pretty slim. We need to take good care of this rare earth of ours.
For our Earth Day devotions, I offer a few paragraphs from Eugene H. Petersen’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places and his comments on Genesis 1 as the rhythm of the liturgy of creation and life.
The interesting thing about rhythm is that we can slow down or quicken the tempo, but we cannot eliminate the beat, the cadence. This can be realized most readily in music and dance, but the very creation itself is this way. This is the nature of the creation of which we are part. We are embedded in time, but time is also embedded in us. Creation is called into being, not haphazardly and not in a cacophony of noise but rhythmically; as we listen and observe we find ourselves integrated into the rhythms. The great creative cadences keep sounding and resounding around and within us: And God said…and God created…and God blessed…and God made…and God gave…and God called….
Genesis "has a certain liturgical flavor…a highly regular and repetitive description of the process of creation, step by step, day by day,’"writes John Levenson. We continue to be part of this process as the Genesis text gets us in tune with, puts us in step with, keeps us present to creation time: light and darkness…sky and sea…earth and vegetation…sun, moon, and stars…fish and birds…animals and humans. As we enter each night’s rest and each day’s work, the great formative rhythms keep us aware of and participant with God’s formational words: "and God said…be fruitful and multiply and fill…according to its kind…and it was good…and it was so…and there was evening and there was morning…."
There is much more in Genesis 1, of course. There is the work of each of the six days by which we are guided to attend to everything that is going on around us. But the gift of time is, first, that by which we become present and participant in the work. Nothing in this creation is here merely to be studied, analyzed, figured out; each element, each day’s "work," is here first of all to be received as an integrated and coherent "note" in the all-encompassing rhythms of the creation oratorio, in which we breath the same air that God breathed over the deep, and from deep in our lungs – our lives! – we sing and play to the glory of God. (Petersen, 68-69)