Throughout the years, my brother has given me many terrific and interesting gifts. I still wear the freshwater pearl earrings proudly on special occasions. The “Dr. Des” hat, which I received at graduation isn’t worn quite as frequently, and my “this is most certainly true” Lutheran sweatshirt is really only appropriate in South Dakota. The Nude Beaches of the World travel guide hasn’t come in handy……yet.
My brother surprised me with a great gift the other day – the NRSV Green Bible! It’s a standard Bible, plus a little more. For those of you familiar with the “red-letter edition” of the Bible, this version is a “green letter edition”. As explained in the preface, the green letter edition is meant to “highlight the rich and varied ways the books of the Bible speak directly to how we should think and act as we confront the environmental crisis facing our planet.” As the reader moves through the chapters, they see passages that speak directly about four main themes:
- “how God and Jesus interact with, care for, and are intimately involved with all of creation
- how all the elements of creation – land, water, air, plants, animals, humans – are interdependent
- how nature responds to God
- how we are called to care for creation”
The Bible includes essays by several faith and environmental leaders (including Desmond Tutu), and it also includes nice “Bibles hikes” or Bible studies focusing on specific themes. The kids and I have been taking these “hikes” through the Bible, and they’re great little devotionals for starting our day.
For anyone interested in how the Bible and environmentalism fit together, or interested in “greening” his or her church, the Green Bible is definitely worth studying.