Participate and co-create!

“It’s a great day to have a great day!”  That’s what the t-shirt said, so I bought it.  Not sure I really believed it.  I was playing with Max and broke my Fitbit watch which, when I start getting in shape again, I’ll want for motivation.  Is that a sign I shouldn’t start?!!?  And while I’ve always been double-jointed, somehow I’ve damaged ligaments in my left thumb which is now popping out and back in place at odd times.  It’s not an especially pleasant feeling, but then I’m pretty grateful I have opposable thumbs because dogs and cats don’t, so opening cans or doors or driving is not really an option for them.  Then I decided to wash some white things with some things that are definitely not white, and well, need I say more?  So is it?  A great day to have a great day?  And is that an actual decision or is each day simply a destiny that we walk into not of our own making?  Hmmmm.  How much DOES God expect us to participate and co-create with God with what God has envisioned?

Was it sad and pitiful or snarkily entertaining to witness the Senate hearings for our likely next Supreme Court Justice, Ketanji Brown Jackson?  In general, it is believed that President Dwight D. Eisenhower is the last President (1953-1961) who willingly nominated and appointed justices from the opposing political party.  His granddaughter quotes this in her book about him “How Ike Led”:  “I was amazed to see that in 1956, when another Supreme Court opening occurred, President Eisenhower asked his attorney general, Herbert Brownell, to find a Democrat.  His reasoning was that the Supreme Court must be ideologically balanced, because it is a non-elected co-equal branch of government and the public has to have confidence in the Supreme Court, that it is a-political.”  I suppose those reflecting on our chapter in history from far future decades will reflect on what happened that so polarized us politically that we stopped caring as much for the common good in this nation as much as we care about the good of our own political leanings.  Have we gone too far to turn back, or better yet to move ahead in a new and more connectional way?  On my “it’s a great day to have a great day” days, I believe it’s never too late to get better and more wise and compassionate, on my “no way will I wear that t-shirt today” days, not so much . . . destiny?  Or choice?  How much DOES God expect us to participate and co-create what God has envisioned?

Earth Day is Friday, April 22nd.  Ooooh look, another tree hugger!!!  Yes please!  The parade of palms is April 10, the celebration of the empty tomb is April 17, and earth day is April 22.  Are they related?  I’m guessing if there were no olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, the prayer for God’s will to be done might have been different.  If there was not a well with clean water for Jesus to ask the woman to draw water for him a drink, she wouldn’t have asked why he, a Jewish man, was asking her, a Samaritan woman, for a drink (against the rules) after which he told her:  “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water. . . the water that I give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:10-14, NRSV).  I’m guessing fresh air, rich soil, and clean water are part of God’s vision for the world and God’s encouragement to “steward” the earth and resources for all God’s people.  But what happens when we don’t really want to? Is it destiny that we use up and contaminate the beauty of the earth for our purposes?  Or is there a different choice?  How much DOES God expect us to participate and co-create what God has envisioned?

A great day to have a great day . . . the t-shirt is navy.  I might have washed it the first time with clothing that is not navy.  Some things are now a pale shade of blue. Not a bad color overall. Maybe a Fitbit isn’t the foundation of what could motivate me to get into better shape, maybe simply feeling better could be that motivation. It IS my left thumb and not my right, and I am right-handed, so there’s that.  I will continue to believe, yes sometimes in spite of evidence to the contrary, that human beings want the best for other human beings and often will rise to the occasion when called upon – so I will believe that Supreme Court justices from every party and gender and race and background will work together for what is best for the nation.  And no, I’m not really up for a debate, just a friendly thought.  And what I believe when I walk, amble, hike, meander through groves of trees and the buds begin to appear around the same time we celebrate an empty tomb and the hope of new and eternal life is that Jesus’s comfort in that prayer of all prayers, sweating as if drops of blood, for God’s will to be done was surrounded and supported by the beauty of an olive grove, what John calls a garden, where Jesus felt particularly close to the God whose image he bore most perfectly.  And in that surrounding presence he made the hardest and most courageous decision for love of messy and often broken us, that love would win, even over death.

“For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies.  For the love which from our birth, over and around us lies. Lord of all to thee we raise, this our hymn, our hymn of Praise.”  Enjoy John Rutter’s arrangement because yes, I believe God DOES want us to participate and co-create with God, God’s best vision for and with us in all things.  And may the beauty of the earth be ours to share!

Video Link: For the Beauty of the Earth – John Rutter