Care for Creation …
How we steward God’s creation is an important aspect of the Christian Faith. Back in the day, our foremothers and forefathers were intimately connected to the land that provided for their sustenance for their daily lives. Their patterns of working, and sleeping were dictated by the sun and moon. The rhythms of life were in-tune with what was going on with the farm.
Their connection to God was largely shaped by their connection with creation. I think it is safe to say that we have lost that connection in our modern world and, as a result, many Christians seem to think that caring for God’s good creation is not very important.
In Isaiah 55, the prophet proclaims that the joy of the Lord’s saving work is for more than just humans, as the mountains burst into song and the trees clap their hands. Paul claims in Romans 8 that all of creation has been groaning in labor pains, just as humans have. A lot of our imagery for what heaven will be like is connected to a redeemed “new creation” where the lion will lay down with the lamb.
As the church, we have the responsibility to acknowledge, and work to change, the damage our self-centered, throw away lifestyles have on God’s good creation. We should not let ourselves fall into the trap of thinking that “Jesus is coming back soon,” so how we abuse creation does not matter. The Protestant Reformer Martin Luther was credited with saying, “Even if I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree.”
How can your faith compel you to care for creation and be more mindful in your daily life? Perhaps the connection our ancestors had with the earth can give us some inspiration to re-engage and be mindful of the impacts our actions have on the environment today. Regardless on your opinion of Global Climate Change, I think stewardship of creation is an important part of how Christians live their daily lives and if we can find ways to be out in creation, we may just encounter God there, too.
The Psalmist proclaims, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” So, how we care for God’s earth is important. Could limiting your single use plastics, or turning the engine off when you go into the store, or using reusable shopping bags, or turning the thermostat down a degree, or only using LED bulbs, or turning the water off when you brush your teeth, or not spraying pesticides on your lawn be a spiritual practice you start this year? I think reconnecting with creation will help us connect to the creator.
Dykeman is pastor at First Lutheran Church in Minot.