Earth Day 2012
Since April 22, 1970, Earth Day has been an annual event to celebrate Earth and focus on the environmental health of our planet. Former Wisconsin senator Gaylord Nelson initiated the idea of a nationwide demonstration to show support for environmental causes.
On the original Earth Day, approximately twenty million Americans in schools and communities throughout the nation participated in rallies and demonstrations, making environmental protection a major national issue.
At the time, I was a high school senior and joined my classmates in picking up litter around town.This year I plan to find God in Earth Day by remembering the most destructive force on our planet.
Earth Day is now a worldwide observance with events scheduled in late March or April. An estimated one thousand groups and five hundred million individuals take part in programs designed to call attention to local and global threats to the environment and discuss possible solutions. Volunteers join in activities such as picking up litter, cleaning up streams, and restoring parks.
The biggest threat to our planet’s environment, however, is sin. The prophet Isaiah said:
The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant”. (Isaiah 24:5, NASB Bible).
Also, Paul writes that from the beginning, all creation has been groaning from the curse of sin and wanting to be set free. (Romans 8:22). Sin has distorted God’s perfect world along with the human population.
God created the earth, and His glory fills it. He preserves it, and someday He will judge it and then renew it. We are responsible to be good stewards of the earth, taking good care of it while being careful to not worship it instead of its Creator. While there are practical environmental problems that need to be solved, the most important issue to work on is the spiritual health of our planet. By meditating on this truth, I can find God as I celebrate Earth Day in the proper spirit.
They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Romans 1:25 (NLT Bible)
This excerpt from a 1970 CBS News special report shows how citizens of New York City commemorated the very first Earth Day:
Starting April 22, NASA is having a video contest that could win you behind-the-scenes access to the next rocket launch of a NASA Earth-observing satellite. For information about the NASA video contest, click here.
© Dianne Neal Matthews (www.DianneNealMatthews.com). Dianne is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books. This article is adapted from her book, The One Year on This Day (Tyndale House).