This year, Earth Hour shares the same day as Easter Sunday. Coincidence? Yes. Timely? Perhaps so.
Earth Hour began in 2007 in one of Australia’s colloquial towns, Sydney. A year later Melbourne joined with hundreds of global cities to participate in Earth Hour. According to the Earth Hour website, there are now over 7000 cities and towns participating worldwide.
It is hard for my wife and I to forget Earth Hour, given it coincides with our wedding anniversary. Nothing makes for a romantic dinner than having the power turned off for an hour!
Earth hour is a one hour ‘lights off’ event. Between 7:30-8:30pm homes, businesses, and public places are encouraged to switch off their lights as a way of communicating the threat of global warming and showing consensus that we need to do more to limit its consequences.
To quote, we “show their support a low pollution, clean energy future, one in which we can continue to enjoy the best of nature and our great Aussie outdoor lifestyle.”
Earth hour is symbolic, a gesture indicating a concern and call for responsible living in this world.
This year, Earth Hour synchronises with Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday as it is also known. This is a day when Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Far from being symbolic, Jesus’ death and resurrection is historic, literal, and real. We may turn the lights off for an hour, Jesus experienced the darkness of death.
His work changed the world. While the resurrection of Jesus certainly has a future looking fulfilment, it is has the power to change the human heart even in the present. And far from ditching this current world, the physical nature of Jesus’ resurrection affirms the value of creation. We are not left disregarding the world and neither are we left pinning the hopes of the world on ourselves.
Earth Hour reminds us of the fallenness of this world, and indeed how complicit we are in this; the resurrection of Jesus proclaims the redemption. We need a God-sized solution to our world’s problems, whether it is global warming or a thousand of other insurmountable issues that weigh down humanity and stifle life, truth and love.
As the Apostle Paul wrote,
’We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:22-25)
The ultimate answer to Earth hour is Resurrection Sunday.
As we turn off our lights for one hour and commiserate the global sized problems before us, why not also reflect on the tangible hope offered us in the person and work of Jesus Christ?