Universalist and Unitarian minister Rev. Thomas Starr King shared, in an 1863 sermon entitled “Lessons from the Sierra Nevada,”
I believe that if, on every Sunday morning before going to church, we could be lifted to a mountain-peak and see a horizon line of six hundred miles enfolding the copious splendor of the light on such a varied expanse; or if we could look upon a square mile of flowers representing all the species with which the Creative Spirit embroiders a zone; or if we could be made to realize the distance of the earth from the sun, the light of which travels every morning twelve millions of miles a minute to feed and bless us, and which the force of gravitation pervades without intermission to hold our globe calmly in its orbit and on its poise; if we could fairly perceive, through our outward senses, one or two features of the constant order and glory of nature, our materialistic dullness would be broken, surprise and joy would be awakened, we should feel that we live amid the play of Infinite thought; and the devout spirit would be stimulated so potently that our hearts would naturally mount in praise and prayer.
What beauty of the world do you take in with your senses today? May it move you to praise and prayer.
Rev. Sheri Prud’homme is a Ph.D. candidate at the Graduate Theological Union and Co-Director of Chalice Camp in San Francisco’s East Bay.
Today’s practice is to notice the beauty of the world. Take the time to seek out beauty and connection to the natural world, and reflect on it. Consider photographing one particular instance of nature-made beauty and sharing it on social media with the hashtag #commit2respond.
Today’s resource for deepening this message are the photographs of famed landscape photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams (1902–1984). Explore moments of nature-made beauty that Adams captured in film in this online gallery from the Philadelphia Museum of Art or the book Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs.
Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.