God created everything that is. The universe; the Milky Way and all other galaxies; the Sun and all other stars; the Solar System and all other solar systems; the Moon and all other moons; the Earth and all other planets, etc. He created all life and all the ecosystems to sustain that life then He created Humankind to take care of all he created on planet Earth. With stewardship of His creation in place he declared all His creation on planet Earth as good.
Genesis 2:15 is His mandate for humankind, His crowning creation. Here humankind is entrusted with the cultivation and care of the world He created as our home.
The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it
My struggle to take this mandate seriously has been aided by a few key insights that I want to briefly share with you. I now believe that the purpose for which humankind was created was to be caretakers of God’s creation.
Our call to be responsible stewards of the environment is rooted in the biblical account of creation in which the earth was entrusted to our care. Humankind is created to cultivate and care for God’s creation.
The challenge of protecting the environment requires that the Church look beyond national, cultural, and other human boundaries to work for the common good of all. Citizens of the kingdom of God standing in solidarity can overcome any nation, any culture and any other boundaries which keep us from obeying our mandate.
Care for creation is fundamentally an act of stewardship. As faithful stewards we should receive the gift of creation gratefully, nurture it responsibly, share it justly and charitably, and return it to God abundantly. As faithful stewards we should love all of God’s vast creation, recognize God, the Creator, as He reveals Himself through His creation and nurture our environment to the glory of God..
The way we treat the environment is often mirrored in the way we treat one another. In other words the respect we show to God’s creation is reflected in the respect we have for one another. Disrespect (abuse) of the environment disproportionally impacts the poor, but impacts all of us as we are all dependent on the earth for our physical existence just as we are all dependent on God for our spiritual existence. Showing respect for this planet God has entrusted to us is just another way for us to respect one another since care for our environment is one way to see that all have their basic needs met.
Questions to ponder
- If we have a mandate to cultivate and care for God’s creation and we instead abuse it carelessly what does that say about our respect for God?
- If God made us stewards of His creation when he returns will he call us good and faithful stewards?
- If the Church united in solidarity against any political boundary or corporate power allowing hunger, disease and pain to flourish when its remedy already exists in God’s creation what impact would that have on how the world views the Church?
- Do we truly love God if we hate one another and His creation itself?
- Do we truly respect God if we disrespect one another and His creation itself?