The Pastor's Peace - April, 2013
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Spring is here, well sort of. There is snow on the ground as I write this, but hopefully by the time you read this it will seem more “Spring” like, i.e. temperatures above freezing. Every year we see the beauty of God’s creation burst forth from all around us. Everything looks dead, and then like the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, we see that life reigns eternal. It happens every year like clockwork, and perhaps we begin to take it for granted. Is this miracle of creation something we truly appreciate, and are we doing what we should to make sure God’s beauty is sustained for generations to come?

I once asked Charlie Brill, a longtime member no longer with us, why they called this area Beavercreek. He responded simply enough, “Because there were beavers here.” He even had a beaver or two still left on his farm, but there were obviously far fewer of them than before. Much has changed in Beavercreek over the many decades. There used to be so much farmland and green space that is now parking lots and housing developments. We must keep in mind that change is inevitable, and as a region’s population grows there has to be building to go along with it. All that being said, it is still worth looking at how we build, and making sure that along with growth there is still room for the beauty of Beavercreek’s nature. If we reach a point where there are no longer any beavers in the area, then my question to Charlie will sadly not be so silly.

There has been a movement, within many Christian churches of all types over the
years, to call attention to the care of God’s creation. Not just for “environmental” reasons, but more importantly because it is humanity’s job to have dominion over the earth, to safeguard it. As we look to places like China, where damage to the environment has reached levels where people can literally not spend any time outside without protective face masks, it is easy to see that humanity can and has taken development too far in some cases, paying too little attention to God’s miracle of nature. The eternal blessing of Christ’s resurrection is something that is ours, and yet it is something we should not take for granted. Christ did not live and die by the cross so that we could go on about our days paying no mind to our relationship with God and our brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s grace is a gift, but it is also a gift that requires some responsibility. In the same way, God’s creation is a gift, and likewise it is a gift that comes with a sense of duty. Now I don’t have all the answers for how to have a perfect relationship with creation, or how to have a perfect relationship with God, for that matter; however, I do know we should care about it and we should try.

This year starting on 4/1, our denomination will be doing a bit to help us think about our relationship to creation through a program called “Mission 4/1 Earth.” We as a church will be participating. I hope you feel called to help in this mission, but more importantly I hope that when the spring flowers bloom this year and the beauty of the Miami Valley surrounds you, you will not take it for granted, but understand what a blessing it is that God has given.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian