For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.(Romans 8:19)
“Earth keeping” or “creation care” is a wonderful term to describe what we have long described as conservation or environmental concern. The problem with the environmental topic is that it has long been an issue remote from the common person. Caring for the environment was caring for nature reserves and faraway places. Conservation meant preserving some areas from human activity. Conservation was the work of the few who loved nature and wanted the world to be what it used to be. This attitude still prevails among many people. With all our social issues, the Church also focused more on people issues than environmental. That attitude has cost us, and our water resources are contaminated, our air polluted, our atmosphere is affected by CFC’s and there is a hole in the ozone. Greenhouse gases are causing Climate Change and deforestation is causing the earths lungs to fail. Again, these issues all sound like more than the average person can understand or address. “The Politicians the Scientists and the Giants of industry must do something.”
But in Genesis the fathers of our faith let us know quite clearly that the care of the earth was given to all humanity, not just to some. Dominion over the earths resources was given to all humankind, not a select few, called out. When St Paul lists the gifts and ministries given and says that some are given the gift of apostleship and some teaching, and some leading, he implies that there are different ministries, creation care is not one of them, it is not the work of some, called out to do it for all. All of us have our role to play. Some must be prophetic about it some must show leadership some must teach but all must participate, it is the work of all the baptised to care for the earth and reveal God’s love for His creation through His people.
Creation care is an act of worship, an act of respect, a way of saying, “I love you Lord and I respect what you have given me.” Environmental degradation comes from a lack of respect for God and His cosmos. We need to repent of our hypocrisy and hear creation groaning awaiting us to respond to God by living a life of worship of God through our actions towards the earth.
Do not be overwhelmed by the supposed magnitude of the problem. Become part of the solution. Environmental degradation is caused by a selfish and thoughtless way of life, we can change that.
The earth is the Lords and everything that dwells therein. (Ps 24:1) Honour God by respecting that which He has created.
let us pray
During this Season of Creation, we ask you to grant us courage to observe a Sabbath
for our planet. Strengthen us with the faith to trust in your providence. Inspire us
with the creativity to share what we have been given. Teach us to be satisfied with
enough. And as we proclaim a Jubilee for the Earth, send Your Holy Spirit to renew
the face of creation. Amen.