Just a reminder (or an announcement for those of you who didn’t know) that today many people, governments, and nations will participate in Earth Hour.  It is a simple call to all people to turn out their lights for 1 hour at 8:30 pm local time.  You can check out the official website here.

The way I see it, there are those of you who may roll your eyes at this attempt to “save the earth”.  I am including two attempts to convince you to participate:

First, from one of my favorite theologians, NT Wright:

God’s Power Does Not Excuse Human Despoiling

It all depends what your ‘faith’ is. If you believe that the present world of space, time and matter is basically trash, from which we are supposed to be rescued, then who cares?

But if, with Jews and Christians, your ‘faith’ is in a good creator God who has promised to set the world right at last, dealing with its corruption and decay and setting it free from all that to become even more gloriously what it already really is, then of course you will cherish and celebrate the natural world and care for it in all kinds of ways.

Put it like this (what follows is based on Romans 8.18-26, one of the central passages in one of the central Christian texts of all time). If I said, well, I find it difficult to struggle against sin – but one day God will save me and make me totally his, so why bother in the present? – if I said something like that, every pastor worth their salt would tell me that what God intends to do with me in the future must be anticipated, as best I can in the power of the Spirit, by me in the present.

Now, Paul declares that God will set the whole creation free from its slavery to corruption, and will do so under the glorious rule of his redeemed people. If we say ‘Well, that’ll be fine when it comes, but for the moment there’s no point bothering to do anything about it ourselves’, we stand rebuked in just the same way. You wouldn’t say of the person you love best in all the world, ‘Well, one day we’ll be married and I can be kind to him/her then, I needn’t bother for the moment.’ In the same way, to say ‘Well, God will do whatever he wants with this world eventually, but for the moment I can continue to pump carbon emissions and other harmful gases into its atmosphere,’ is simply illogical.

Secondly, if that didn’t convince you, think about the possibilities that would come out of an hour spent in candle light with a loved one, your spouse or your children.  Removing the distraction of any “screens” (yes, computers and TV’s count as some sort of light), perhaps much needed conversations or snuggling could take place.

Think about it.  Turn out the lights.