Lenten Reflections Week 5: Birds, Sea Creatures

Scripture: Genesis 1:20-23

The image of God filling the sky and the waters with owls, flamingos, sparrows, tadpoles, starfish, whales, sea urchins and swans is a beautiful one. It is as if God looked at the blank canvas of the world and spread life and color across it, and called it good. 

The variety God created is so vast that we are still discovering new birds and new sea creatures on a yearly basis. In fact scientists estimate we have only discovered 20% of the world’s life forms, and have only explored 5% of the sea. But the reality is that we are losing species faster than we are finding them – in fact some of the newly discovered species went directly on the endangered species lists. Knowing about them helps scientists preserve them, but we can be a part of that preservation process by lessening our impact on the environment around us. 

The book of Matthew tells us about how much God cares about everything God created. Jesus reminds his disciples of God’s care for them by reminding them of God’s love for His creation. He says to them, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matthew 10:29).

The truth is that we are all in God’s care, as are the birds, insects, amphibians and fish. We are all woven into the fabric and splendor of God’s world and with each strand we lose we miss out on a glimpse of God’s handiwork and the beauty and whimsy of the diversity of the world we live in. God cares for all of it and calls for us to do the same.

Suggested action: This week use reusable bags, try making your own cleaning products with vinegar, water and baking soda, and try using cotton cloths instead of paper towels. Avoid take-out food. Plan to purchase ecostrips for your laundry, and shampoo and soap in bars rather than liquid soaps and shampoo. Consider alternatives for coffee, tea and snacks that use a lot of packaging.

Suggested resources: Two films –  “Black Fish” (Netflix) and “The Memory of Fish” (Prime) and check out these two links for examples of fish and birds that have been recently discovered: 



All film suggestions form from the PBS Independent Lens blog “Earthy Day Watch list: 17 Films About Sustainability and Climate Change” (with the exception of “Chasing Ice” and “Black Fish”  which are from other sources). All the listed movies offered as suggestions by CEF as starting points for discussion around sustainability and stewardship.  https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/earth-day-watch-list-17-new-films-about-sustainability-climate-change/

Image: M.C. Escher, “5th Day of Creation”

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