The global environmental crisis has filled spiritual leaders with a bitter awe this Easter, a time for repentance and rebirth, to consider the broken body and the transcendent miracle.
As the sun rose on Good Friday, a stark study spelling out the disastrous repercussions of global warning hit the news wires.
"Certainly, we have a lot to repent for in our treatment of the Earth over the centuries," said the Rev. Larry Hunter of St. Stephen's Episopal Church in Orinda.
"Lent is a time of introspection," said the Rev. Greg Ledbetter of Shell Ridge Community Church, a Baptist congregation in Walnut Creek. "It asks us to make a rigorous assessment. Easter brings the huge implication to be aware of the big picture."
The Rev. Sally Bingham of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco made that rigorous assessment, and she gave up heating her house for Lent.
"It was a symbol of not polluting the air for people who live around the dirty, filthy power plants," said Bingham, who founded California Interfaith Power and Light. The ecumenical organization promotes sustainable energy practices and sounds the alarm on global warming.
"The celebration of Easter and the Resurrection ... is a very appropriate time to relook at our relationship with the sacred, which includes creation," she said.
This is also a time to measure how much "the religious center of gravity has shifted," wrote Jim Rice, editor of Sojourners Magazine.
IREJN is Connecticut's Interfaith Power and Light. Visit us at www.irejn.org.