Focus Text: Psalm 98
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for God is coming to judge the earth.
Pastoral Reflection by Dr. Ed Hauser, Professor Emeritus of Biology; Chair, Caring for Creation Task Force, NC Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Our lectionary texts, Isaiah 65:17-25 and Psalm 98, offer vision and hope for people of faith, a vision of ultimate peace among the whole of creation. The Hebrew word which implies such a state of being is shalom. The word shalom has a deep and rich meaning, implying not only a lack of hostility towards the creation and all God’s creatures, but also a state of general health and well being, a condition where there is “ecojustice” for all parts of creation.
Personal Vignette by Edward O’Connor, Chair, Board of Education, Southern Province, Moravian Church in America; Member, Steering Committee, NC Interfaith Power & Light
I grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin that bordered a two-mile long lake. Our house was on a point of land that jutted out into the center of the lake. A similar point from the other side formed a “narrows,” giving the lake the shape of a peanut shell. Since my great-grandfather had pioneered there in the 1840’s, our family observed that the level of the lake rose and fell in a twenty-one year cycle.
Households can save 10 – 50 percent each year on their energy bills by making smart energy choices and improving the efficiency of homes by installing:
- compact fluorescent lighting;
- EnergyStar appliances;
- high-efficiency air conditioners, furnaces and hot water heaters;
- low-emissivity, double or triple pane windows;
- solar water heater;
- electric heat pump;
- thicker insulation.