Joy to the World

White candles, wood cross and red heartJoy to the world
The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing…

This carol has always been one of my favorites to sing at Christmastime. Our King has come–what a time of celebration! Yet this year, I couldn’t help but think of that last line a bit more seriously. What does it mean for heaven and nature to sing?

The Benedictine monks have a prayer that reads, “O glorious God, your whole creation sings your marvelous work; may heaven’s praise so echo in our hearts that we may be good stewards of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

The song of creation is one of joy because it is the song of God’s beauty, his care for us, and his plan of redemption that will one day reverse the curse of decay and death. Scripture tells us in Romans 8 that creation “waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God….that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

We celebrate Christmas because it is the arrival of our redeemer, the beginning of this great reversal and the promise that God’s promise to make all things new will come to completion through Christ. So as we celebrate this season by giving gifts and gathering with friends and family, why not take part in not only every heart preparing Him room, but in the song of heaven AND nature itself?

If you need help getting started, here are some ideas we’re pretty excited about for this holiday season. (As a disclaimer, we are not being paid to advertise for any of these products and are not affiliated with them in any way. We just think they’re doing great work and wanted to share it with you!)

  • Gifts made from recycled materials: You’d never know this beanie from United by Blue was made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. We’re also pretty thrilled about these Adidas shoes made from ocean waste & recycled plastics! Other great organizations like Servv are nonprofits using recycled fashion to empower women and families around the world.
  • Gifts from companies that steward the earth well. The fashion industry is considered one of the dirtiest industries of the world today. Consider looking for organic cotton, earth-safe dyes, and naturally produced materials. Companies like Fair Indigo, PACT apparel, and BabySoyUSA are great places to start.
  • DIY Projects. Thanks to Pintrest, you have almost an infinite number of possibilities to transform, say, a wood pallet or thrift store teacup into a one-of-a-kind gift. Not an especially crafty person? Check out the artists on Etsy and you can pay someone to do these kind of projects instead!
  • Cool tech gifts. Solar phone chargers, anyone?
  • The gift of experience. Tickets to a concert, summer rafting trips, a trip to their favorite bookstore–think outside the box (literally) and give your loved one something to look forward to this year!

Have any other great ideas for celebrating the season as a Climate Caretaker? We’d love to hear from you!

By: Jenna Funkhouser

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