The Earth Is Precious
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Psalm 24: 1
In 1854 the USA Government offered to buy a large area of Indian land, and promised a ‘reservation’ for the Indian people. Chief Seattle’s reply has been described as the most beautiful and profound statement on the environment ever made:
We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and humans beings – all belong to the same family. The rivers are our brothers – they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother. The white man treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert. There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities, no place to hear the unfurling of leaves in the spring, or the rustle of an insect’s wings. This we know: all things are connected. Man did not weave their web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. You may think that you own God as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of all humanity, and his compassion is equal for the red and the white people. This earth is precious to him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator.
In the name of the One who gives the growth
may we tend the seed-bed earth.
In dependence on the God of life
may we cherish the precious earth,
The earth of the God of life
The earth of the Christ of love
The earth of the Spirit Holy