When most people hear the topic of climate change they go into a stupor. It’s depressing to think about it. We’re not quite sure what any of us can do, so we just try not to think about it.

So when the “Earth Care” committee of our church asked me to speak about the environment this month, I wasn’t sure how to do a series that wouldn’t sound like academic lectures on carbon footprints. I’ve finally settled on a sermon series called “Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.” We’ll look at each of those elements as sacramental. We will remember that for much of history, people believed ourselves to be composed of these four “elements.”  We will then juxtapose that poetic view with how we are actually treating those elements in our natural world. We will then consider how we might actually put reverence for the elements back into practice.

Tomorrow’s sermon, “Fire,” will address the subject of energy in general. We will turn to the story of the foolish virgins in Matthew 25:1-13 to consider how our species might move from the myth of eternal “progress” to the realities of entropy. We will consider the call to Sabbath, not as mere austerity, but our sacred task of “tending the flame.’