by Pastor Ralph J. Mineo
April 22nd was the 45th annual Earth Day. The fundamental vision of Earth Day is to have a clean earth, to “stop our misuse of the planet.” On the 20th annual Earth Day, I wrote a song titled “Earth Song” based on Psalm 104. The refrain of the song is: “The earth is full of the riches of God. May the glory of God shine forever in the world.”
Here are the verses:
1. You, O God, have created the world. You clothe the earth with glory and with majesty.
2. From the depths of my soul I praise you God. You have set the earth on the foundation of your love.
3. The oceans, the mountains, the valleys, the sea, the animals, the birds and trees, you made them all.
4. You, O God, give food for all the earth. You send the rain. You nourish all the world with your love.
5. Every day of my life, I’ll sing to God. As long as I shall live on earth, I’ll praise my God.
My favorite verse to sing is verse 3, but I’m always moved by the concepts that the earth is set on the foundation of God’s love, and, in addition to food and rain, God nourishes us with love. As the scripture says: “God is love.”
April 5th was our annual celebration of Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord. The church has been celebrating this day annually for over 2000 years! We might say that the fundamental vision of Easter is to have a clean heart, to stop our misuse of our relationship with God and with the children of God. The fundamental truth of Easter is that Jesus lived, died, and was raised from death that we might have a right relationship with God. Jesus certainly wants our hearts to be clean, restored, renewed. This happens by the power of the resurrection!
Maybe I’ll write an “Easter Song,” inspired by the “Earth Song.” The refrain might go like this: “My heart is full of the riches of God. May the glory of the God shine forever in my life.” I would certainly want to keep the structure of verse 3. It might go like this: “The healing, the wisdom, the Spirit, the grace, the peacefulness, the love and hope, you give them all.”
Of course the love of God in Christ Jesus is central to our “Easter Song.” May this be true among us, and in all the world: the love of Jesus is the foundation of our lives! Amen!