Thursday, April 21, 2011

Good Friday and Earth Day -- in harmony or "why we do what we do the way we do."

Tomorrow is Good Friday.  The day Christians honour the death of Jesus Christ on a cross.  It is a day to examine our hearts and to pray for forgiveness of God for the mistakes we have made and to receive the unconditional grace and forgiveness that is offered to us freely and only because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth and chose to die a torturous death in our place.  It is a day of sorrow and a day of wonder.

What has struck me lately is the fact that this death was real -- not a myth.  Jesus was a man who lived in Palestine.  He claimed to be the Son of God and this brought contempt on him from his culture.  He died on April 3, 33AD.  Why do we know this?  It is the only day when Pilate was the governor in Jerusalem, Passover occurred on a Thursday evening to Friday and there was a lunar eclipse.  How do we know that Jesus really lived and died at that time?  There were numerous eye witnesses and they have recorded their testimonies.  We have 100s of copies of these testimonies -- more hand written copies than we have of the Odyssey or the Iliad, preserved in the ancient libraries of the world.  Jesus Christ's death is a matter of historical record  established by eye witness reports.

Because we can see that this man really lived and can know what day in history that he died on, we can also trust the testimony of these same witnesses that he rose from the dead -- the event that we will celebrate this Sunday.  The fact that Jesus lives is what give Christians their hope everyday.  These testimonies tell us that Jesus Christ was seen by 100s of eye witnesses after his resurrection and that some of these people saw him rise up into the heavens and that He promised to be with us always, No other prophet in history has risen from the dead.  No other prophet in history answers the prayers of his followers. 



Does it make a difference 2,000 years later?  Yes, in my life and in the lives of my own family -- we can trust not just in the forgiveness and grace that we receive but also in the daily wisdom that we receive from God when we ask for wisdom and even for help on the farm when we have trouble -- like yesterday when "Ebony", a black angora goat, had a breech presentation and her baby was being born -- already dead-- and almost a month early.  God gave us grace and wisdom to wait, when we prayed and asked Him what we should do.  And she delivered the breech baby without veterinary assistance.  Amazing!

Tomorrow is also Earth Day.  The day when we honour God's creation by covenanting to steward it wisely, to walk in gentleness on the planet, taking new steps to reduce consumerism and increase organic living.  Those of you who read this blog regularly know that we take seriously our commitment to be gentle with God's Earth.

We farm organically and sustainably without chemicals.  We avoid feeding GMOs and grow most of our own food.  We treat our animals like family members and honour their needs above our own -- allowing chickens to be chickens, sheep and goats to be sheep and goats -- protecting them at night from predators but allowing them to free range our 140 acres at other times.  We use their manure as the fertilizer for our fields and gardens and even share it with our neighbors in exchange for excess produce.  We heat our small log home with wood from dead falls and weed trees on our acreage.  Our electricity is renewable hydro power.  We have learned to live on what we can grow ourselves or earn from our own hands, rather than exploit the poor of the earth.  For us Earth Day is about honouring the work of our hands even as we honour God's creation.

Its not about REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE for us.  Just like many religious people have coded religion into a series of rules about what not to do, many zealous Earth Day observers have coded earth friendly behaviours into rules about what not to do -- so that Earth Day has become symbolic of another kind of negative spirituality.  For us it is about being productive and using the renewable things that God, in His abundant love toward us, has placed in our hands.  It is about expressing the creativity that is in us because our God is creative and it is about loving our animals and our fellow human beings and enhancing their well being with what we create because God loves them.  Its about inspiring creativity in others by sharing our work and teaching our crafts.  This is our purpose for existence -- to create things with our hands that will enhance and benefit the lives of our animals and our friends.  It is the harmony between Good Friday and Earth Day.


We walk in the realization that God gave us what we need to live sustainably and in harmony.  We live in harmony with Him and our fellow humans through the historical events that happened on Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.  We live in harmony with the Earth because of wisdom that comes from God and celebrate that on Earth Day.  We have always lived this way -- PRODUCE-PROTECT-INSPIRE is our Homestead code.

See our website to find out more about why we do what we do the way we do.

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