Bible, Christian living, creation care

Wildflowers in the Field (Earth Day 2023)

Originally written as a devotional for Creation Care Week 2023 at Wayland Baptist University.

Jesus said . . . “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. . . .  Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!”

Luke 12:22, 27-28, NIV

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Easter weekend, as I drove through Central Texas, I marveled at the fields of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.  I took some time to stop and photograph along the drive. The experience reminded me of this passage in Luke. 

Jesus taught his disciples to trust God and not worry about the needs of life.  If God is a gracious and good Father, why would he not care for his children?  God cares for all of his creation.  Just look out in the fields, Jesus said.  God lovingly decorates the grasses of the fields with wildflowers, so that they are more wondrous than a king’s finest robes.  God does this even though the grass and wildflowers are only here a short time.  The grass is “here today and tomorrow is thrown into the clibanos,” an earthen vessel used for baking bread (translated as “fire” in NIV).  God cares for the most commonplace elements of his creation, something so mundane that humans gather it as fuel to make their bread.  Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread.  Here we learn that God royally clothes the very things we take for granted while cooking that bread.  If today he clothes the grass that is gone tomorrow, how much more will he care for our needs?

Just as God cares for his creation, he calls us to join him in caring for creation and for one another.  This is part of what it means to be created in his image.  Lady Bird Johnson heard this call in the 1965.  Inspired by the wildflower seeding program of the Texas Highway Department, she convinced her husband to push for the Highway Beautification Act.  Known as “Lady Bird’s Bill,” it included a provision to plant wildflowers across the nation’s Interstate highways.  Lee Clippard, director of communications at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, described her care for creation.  “People wanted to see beautiful flowers and beautiful landscapes, but she saw it as a way to heal the land.  She knew it was a way to improve the lives of people.  She always saw landscapes and people together.” (Texas Highways, 7 April 2019).

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