Written by Tony Chan (Partnership Development Consultant)
‘Sense of Ritual’ has become a popular term in recent years. It refers to the act of performing small but meaningful activities in everyday life as if they were some special ceremonies. This creates a unique moment that stands out from the mundane. The term is frequently used in the context of relationships. Couples can benefit from cultivating a sense of ritual to keep their relationship fresh and healthy. Families can also benefit from this, as it fosters a sense of happiness and belonging among family members. Today, let’s apply the ‘Sense of Ritual’ to the relationship between humans and the Earth and reflect on and practice our beliefs.
The relationship between humans and nature was beautiful and harmonious at the dawn of creation. People and other creatures cared for and served each other because of divine will. However, over several millennia, humanity has wilfully and recklessly destroyed the nature, shattering this once-harmonious relationship.
The phrase ‘Mother Earth is sick’ is common, but it is important to recognise that in any strained relationship, both parties are affected. As Earth’s delicate ecosystem continues to be ravaged, humanity also faces the consequences and casualties.
In recent years, the devastating impact of climate change has become evident through frequent disasters. These catastrophic events have destroyed countless homes and claimed numerous lives. According to data from the UN, over the past 50 years, the number of natural disasters such as floods and heat waves has increased fivefold due to the effects of climate change, resulting in over 2 million deaths and an average of 115 fatalities per day.
Additionally, many people lose their livelihoods due to extreme weather conditions. In our poverty alleviation projects, we often come into contact with farmers who have been affected. Droughts and floods can result in crop failures, causing farmers and their families to fall into poverty.
All of this goes against the will of the Lord and falls short of God’s glory. We must work to restore our relationship with the Earth.
As ‘Earth Day’ on April 22 is approaching, CEDAR is offering a very ritualistic small action for everyone to restore our relationship with the Earth on this special day. You can now click here to receive a sunflower seed bookmark (Chinese webpage only) and grow it into a real plant, symbolising our aspiration for reconciliation with Mother Earth. We firmly believe that by planting, we are taking a caring step towards the Earth created by the Lord and practising the lesson of loving our neighbours.
Of course, in addition to a sense of ritual, it is also important to cultivate a long-term relationship with the environment. We urge everyone to develop habits that protect the environment, care for the Earth and its inhabitants that God created, and participate in the ‘Care for the Disaster-Stricken Poor’ Campaign by making monthly donations to support communities threatened by climate crises, improve their livelihoods, and fight against disasters.