Earth Day, 2012
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
April 22, 2012
EARTH DAY MESSAGE
For an all-text version, click here.
THIS YEAR'S THEME: The Year of the Lord
THIS MONTH'S TOPIC: Union with the LordTODAY'S MESSAGE: Earth Day, 2012
Open your Bible
Light a candle
From the Bible:
27. And God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.
The Divine is the same in the greatest and the smallest things. (Divine Love and Wisdom n.77)
So long as man is spiritual, his dominion proceeds from the external man to the internal .. But when he becomes celestial, and does good from love, then his dominion proceeds from the internal man to the external... [Heavenly Secrets, #2]
The Divine fills all space of the universe w/o being bound by space. [Divine Love and Wisdom, #69
Earth Day, 2012
It was May 1st, 1893: Opening day of the Columbian Exposition. It was to be the most elaborate world's fair ever, and hosted by Chicago. As the gates opened, people streamed in, appreciation the free admission for this first day. There were gasps of amazement as the crowds took in the first sweeping glance of the 640 acre fair. An entire city had been created in Jackson Park! It was a city filled with the scents of flowers instead of the stench of the stock yard. The streets were clear; not filled with garbage. The buildings were aesthetically pleasing, and served useful purposes. The water was clean; the food was plentiful.
It offered a new vision of what kind of community could exist in a city. It became the start of city planning and landscaping, it was a statement about the integration of the environment and social justice.
Swedenborgian Daniel Burnham was the primary architect behind the "White City." The city inspired Burnham's Plan of Chicago about 15 years later.
Researcher Dr. Kristen Schaeffer has discovered that Burnham’s draft of the plan contained many ideas about the New Jerusalem that were taken out before the final version.
In this newly-awakened civic consciousness lies the hope of the regeneration of the American city. The merely animal growth will no longer suffice. Pride in mere numbers or area is seen to be unworthy. The newer ideals comprehend good order and convenience and even beauty. In short, the city is developing within itself a soul.
In such a spirit, this report is conceived.
It is also in such a spirit that we can see the deeper meaning in Earth Day. How? Look again at the Swedenborgian readings for today, and this crucial statement of Swedenborg’s:
The Divine is in the largest and the smallest of things.
This gives us a theological understanding of Earth Day. God is not just in humans, but in all animals. God is not just in animals, but in plants. God is not just in plants, but in rocks. Everything that exists in our world contains the Divine. To ignore the needs of our earth and our vegetation ignores God.
Daniel Burnham grew up with that concept embedded deep into his soul. He knew that people had to have parks in their city, because they could experience God in the parks. He knew that the shores of Lake Michigan needed to be available to all people, because those shores contained God – and God belongs to everyone.
Burnham knew that God’s plan for us was not just heaven after we die, but heaven right here and now in our cities. The health and happiness of all people – and all of nature – is in that plan.
What better way to experience union with the Divine than by honoring the Earth -- this Earth day and every day.
You have heard all about conserving our resources and recycling. You have heard about planting trees and preserving habitats. There isn't much that you have not heard about conservation. My question is with all this knowledge how can I best steward my environment? I have decided to take the issue to prayer and ask The Lord what his will is. This way He will direct whatever course is best for the Earth today. What are you going to do to celebrate Earth day?
" Lord of all creation dwelling in all things show me how I can best serve our planet. Give me the steps to take to be a better conservator of our planet. Let me respect all nature and give thanks for such a beautiful dwelling place. May the Earth and all it's Creatures be blessed with Peace."
Extinguish your candle.
Close the Bible
Go in peace, honoring the earth's union with the Divine.
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Chapel Chat Room
Coffee Hour Chat
9:30 PM Eastern; 6:30 PM Pacific;
Next week: A Swedenborgian painter's Union with the Divine
See our Special Toipic page on Swedenborg and the environment.
|Earth Day, 2012||