Earth Day Redux – with a little help from the apostle Paul

OBX – North Carolina

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it – Psalm 24

Yesterday I posted about placing God’s word into the hands of children. Today I want to talk about Sunday’s other emphasis, and that is placing the world into the hands of God. Sunday we celebrated Earth Day and we took pause to remind ourselves of our place on this planet and God’s expectations for his children.

Pastor John designed the entire worship service around thanking God for the Earth and understanding our responsibility to take care of it. As a photographic prelude and postlude, he asked four photographers from the congregation to contribute images that might help set the stage; my twelve comprise today’s slideshow.

During my class between worship services (Practical Christianity), we talked about Paul’s idea in Romans 8:19-21 that, “the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”

All of Creation is waiting – on the edge of its seat, about ready to burst, in cumulative frustration – for God’s Children to finally ‘get it,’ to loose the bondage of selfishness and short-sightedness, to act in the way God intended since before the dawn of time, and to bring everything into the freedom and the glory of the kingdom” (author paraphrase).

Hawk – Maul-Hall

We live in such an amazing and beautiful world, yet so much of the way that we live goes far beyond the planet’s ability to sustain itself. It’s a dismaying idea to think that maybe it is humanity – us – that is the decay, and that we are responsible for so much bondage.

Our faith in Jesus may not be a religion built on guilt, but the Holy Spirit certainly knows something about conviction, and then there is that tricky business of Matthew 7:20, “By their fruits you will recognize them…”

Enjoy the photographs.

In the name of all that is beautiful – DEREK


derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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