For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you.
Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
In this weekend’s sermon, Pastor Rhonda shared a beautiful quote that ties so nicely with our scripture and points to how easy it is to forget how much God provides for us through nature. The quote was from Aldo Leopold and I would like to share it again:
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from a furnace. To avoid the first danger, one should plant a garden, preferably where there is no grocer to confuse the issue. To avoid the second, he should lay a split of good oak on the andirons, preferably where there is no furnace, and let it warm his shins while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside. If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator.”
I was ruminating on this quote because it is so well said. But I kept thinking, how can I in today’s world continue to remind myself of the bounty God provides me through the natural world? While Leopold offers suggestions above, as someone who lives in an apartment in a city, they aren’t all that feasible. But this quote and the week’s scripture kept coming back to me. How can I take care that I do not forget the Lord my God and all the abundance of creation?
In Second Quarter, our 20s & 30s ministry here at Sheridan, we’ve been having many conversations about where we see God in nature and how to better steward creation. Throughout this worship series, it’s been wonderful to share ideas in community and to hear how others experience God in creation. Some ideas included collecting food scraps for a local compost, using a laundry bin to sort recycling and using reusable straws instead of plastic.
And while not everyone is able to start a garden or cut up wood to heat their home, we can still do other practices to remember and honor all God’s creation gives us. We can continue these conversations about God in nature and remind ourselves and each other of the ways we remember creation daily. For there is indeed something holy and beautiful in that, too.
Creator God, we thank you for the abundance you offer us in nature. May you daily remind us to honor and care for creation and all it provides for our lives. Let us remember this calling and that our eyes may be more open to seeing and experiencing you in the natural world, Amen.
Written by Dana Rademacher Hansen
Dana moved to Lincoln, NE two years ago from Minneapolis, MN. She is on staff at Sheridan, working with digital media and at Sheridan’s ministry partner, Barnabas Community. This June, Dana married her husband John and they will both start seminary at United Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia, PA in the fall.