This week we celebrated World Environment Day. It’s a big deal for some folks who, like myself, recognise that care for creation is not just a side effort of our ministry, but an integral part of our daily lives. It’s not something that we can talk about casually once a year, but rather a factor that should influence all that we say and do. The earth is not disposable, it’s not infinite, and these days it’s not really healthy.
And so we enter discussions on ecological theology.
My basic description of eco-theology is this: God made all of creation, is in all of creation. Therefore, everything that we do to harm the planet harms God’s creation and harms God. As humans, we’ve been granted the responsibility of caring for creation.
Hmm. Given the current state of the world, this is cause for lament. I’m reminded of a blog I wrote this past February while meeting with PWRDF partners in the Philippines. We had spent a few days with new friends, and heard about the struggles they had with mining. One site visit literally left me in tears: http://pwrdf.org/2013/good-friday/
And yet, as Christians, as Easter people, we are a people of hope. We are a people of faith. We are also a people of action. A friend of mine this week said that she didn’t like talking about eco-theology because it was only lamentations. And so I’m using this blog to encourage us to change that – let’s think about the messages of hope that we can share concerning the environment. Of course there are concerns, there are politics and systematic challenges and realities beyond our control. But there is opportunity for change. There is promise that another world is possible. There is benefit to educating ourselves and others on issues that matter, of basing our prayers and decisions in a way that considers the environmental impact, of speaking out against ecological injustices. After all, that’s one of our Marks of Mission. It’s integral in our baptismal vows, should we open our eyes to see the created order as a neighbour.
So let’s share our good news – our stories of hope. They may be borne out of struggle, but they are worth sharing. Let’s share with one another examples of how creation matters – to us as individuals, as families, as communities, as the universal church. Let’s celebrate World Environment Day by spending some time holding creation in our prayers, by being open to the wonder of creation, by recognising our space within that creation.
Let’s start with the messages of hope that are waiting to be shared: here’s my final blog from that Philippines trip: http://pwrdf.org/2013/messages-of-hope/
“Well, I’m FOR the environment, because I live in one.” Lorne Elliott