For the Beauty of the Earth: A Lenten Devotional
As we mark the 50th Earth Day (April 22, 2020), Christians can reflect on how caring for God’s creation is connected to our faith. Drawing on the beloved hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,” each week of this 40-day Lenten devotional focuses on a different aspect of the splendor of nature, how God nurtures our spirit through creation, and how we must protect our precious home. As we walk with Jesus along shorelines, through gardens, and among trees, we learn from the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
Each daily devotion includes scripture, a brief reflection, and questions to ponder or a spiritual practice for the day.
Bonus Section: 50 Ways to Honor the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
Extend your Lenten journey into the 50 Days of the Easter season with this list of practices, activities, and ideas for celebrating and honoring Earth Day where you live.
“Our church is using For the Beauty of the Earth as our Lenten devotional. We are loving all of it. I have to hold myself back to savor the readings for the day and not look ahead! And our pastor is doing a Facebook live video for us each Wednesday in Lent based on the devotionals at noon that we can watch live or view later. We are grateful for Dr. Schade’s passion and gifts.” -- Elizabeth Lōser
“This devotional with its scriptural basis, well written reflections, questions to ponder, and closing prayer is perfect for either individual Lenten devotions or for an entire congregation. With its organizing around the familiar hymn by the same name, it is both accessible and meaningful. It is the perfect Lenten devotional leading up to a 50th anniversary Earth Day worship service the Sunday after Easter. You will not be disappointed in this unique Lenten devotional.” --Rev. Brooke Baker
“For the Beauty of the Earth is a thought-provoking and deeply spiritual daily look at the spiritual implications of the climate crisis. Reverend Schade offers scripture, meditations, prayers and other do-able spiritual practices for individuals and for faith communities of people hungering for ways to ‘keep the faith’ while being faithful to our calling to be stewards to the earth. This devotional is already being well received in my congregation and community. --Rev. Marguerite Sheehan
"Those of us who work in the field of disaster recovery are sometimes finding ourselves overwhelmed as we are responding more frequently to the impacts of a warming planet. For the Beauty of the Earth is providing a meaningful Lenten practice that is reminding me how much God cares for creation. I'm grateful for the concrete and daily suggestions for me to play a role in keeping our planet healthy, and also to fortify my own soul." ―Julia Menzo, Lutheran Disaster Response Coordinator, Liberty Lutheran Services