Heaven Day on Earth Day

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

This Sunday will be Earth Day. As the beauty of Spring slowly unfolds, I give thanks to God for the creation and recall the fifth of the Five Marks of Mission. These five statements were developed for the Anglican Communion (of which our church is a member) to clarify the mission of the Church:

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom;
  • To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers;
  • To respond to human need by loving service;
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society;
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The fifth Mark of Mission connects our faith with the care of creation. We have this striving because God gave this world into our care, though God has not withdrawn from it. We believe the presence of the Holy Spirit permeates creation, uniting earth and heaven.

Just for a bit, I wondered if this coming Sunday could be Heaven Day. In heaven all nations and languages and peoples are standing together before our Lord and God, singing praise. If Sunday were Heaven Day, we would renew our commitment to unity where differences do not divide us and every human is treated with respect, both in our congregation and as we are sent forth into the rest of the week (that's the fourth Mark of Mission). In heaven there is an abundance of joy and a generosity of love (the third Mark). If Sunday were Heaven Day, we would gather for worship at each service and rejoice that so many people fill the pews because each one of us invited another to come, sharing our own witness of a life-giving relationship with Jesus (the first Mark). If Sunday were Heaven Day, each room in the education wing would be full of children and youth sharing their faith, and participation in Growth Groups would include people who had never learned about Jesus (the second Mark).

Blessedly, we don't have to choose between Earth Day and Heaven Day. We can observe both as faithful witnesses to Christ, who came to earth to bring the reconciling love of God, our heavenly Father. Earth Day reminds us to care about our environment and not take its resources for granted. Heaven Day reminds us to care about God's causes, including the creation, and not take God's love for granted. Join us Sunday for a slice of heaven.

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