Earth Day Worship
When our service is in our home, we light a candle to help set apart this particular time and this particular place as a sacred space for worship. And we all love fire.
I also had an empty chair set up in the living room when everyone came in, which prompted more than a few questions. But the reason for the empty chair would be revealed later.
This being Earth Day and all, we sang along with the Owl City song “My Everything.” I love how the video shows the artist walking through creation, and the way the focus is on worshipping God in the midst of light and dark. And, well, we all love Owl City.
Our Scripture for Eastertide is John 15:4 - Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
We’re talking about this particular scripture over and over again, from different perspectives, all through Eastertide.
Again, since it’s Earth Day, we touched on how this image involves being rooted, and how we’re rooted to this place called Squalicum Mountain. While Jesus is infinite, we’re finite, and while the Spirit is unlimited, we are limited. We would spend the majority of our worship service picking up trash on Squalicum Mountain with our neighbors, as a way of living our worship with others who make their home on this mountain with us.
And our closing hymn was listening to the song “Empty Chair” by Sting. Since we are cultivating church communities for people who have been left out, I wanted a way to help bring us into the stories of people who have been left out, and the poetry of this song, set alongside the image of the empty chair, gives us a way to do that.
We always end our services with a blessing and a sending, but since our worship service today includes physically picking up trash with our neighbors, I wanted something physical in the blessing. So I filled a bowl with water, and we took turns making the sign of the cross on each other’s foreheads and saying “I bless you in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and I send you to your neighborhood for the work ahead of you today.”
And then we put on our boots and picked up trash with our neighbors. I loved getting to know some of the folks who live around us, and being a part of tromping through the weeds and the ditches as we cleaned up the streets. Watching my kids splashing in the mud digging out bottles was such a hoot! And the sunny weather was such a gift.
We got back home happy, and feeling blessed for getting to live in this place with these people.
Have a great week!