You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no carved images or pillars, and you shall not place figured stones in your land, to worship at them; for I am the Lord your God. You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. – Leviticus 26:3-6
“[The creation accounts in Genesis] suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with Earth [herself]. According to the Bible, these three vital relationships have been broken, both outwardly and within us. This rupture is sin” (Laudato Si’ – 66)
Passages like the one from Leviticus are often used to suggest that if we live a certain way, God will bless us with material possessions and economic prosperity. But that’s not what God is talking about here. Instead, this passage is God’s effort to restore what was lost due to our sin. Obedience doesn’t bring prosperity; it brings harmony, balance, interdependence. This is a vision of what God intends – fertile fields and bountiful harvests. This is not something that we earn, but what we may recover as we once again follow the path God lays out before us. It is what comes from living out God’s call to wholeness. (adapted from The Green Bible Devotional)
Reflection Questions for Sharing
- We are on the precipice of making the very home God created for us inhospitable – both for ourselves, as well as for the other creatures that call Earth home. What are the idols we have made that have brought us to this point?
- Pope Francis suggests that our broken relationship with Earth is sin. How can we repair the rupture? How can I make reparation?
- Can we begin by rebuilding relationships? What people or places in my life bring me closer to God?
- Amidst challenges that seem insurmountable, where do I find hope?
Creator God, we thank you that you have called us to share in your creation. We see glimpses of your renewal and new birth in your cleansing rains and fields ripe for harvest. Bless us as we listen obediently to you, to our neighbor, and to Earth herself, and work to recover what we have lost. Amen.
“All Shall Be Well,” by Earth Mama (YouTube link)