Preface: I’m posting in support of the People’s Climate March, which was in New York City today. I have several friends who marched there, and I wish I was there too.
I’ve become more and more convinced that we are at a pivotal moment in history. I don’t want my grandchildren to ask me someday why I never did anything to mitigate, or reverse, the effects of climate change.
We can’t continue with business as usual. Our economic model is built on a premise of infinite resources supporting infinite growth. That doesn’t make sense, considering we are on a planet with finite resources.
I believe that God gave us everything we need, but that he also set up a system asking his people to live within limits. Over and over again, God has showed us his provision, but that doesn’t mean we should ruin what he has provided.
As a people here on the planet, we have become enchanted by the Siren call of more. We demand cheap gas. We wanted war in Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure cheap oil. We want our SUVs and McMansions. Our knickknacks made in China. Our cheap clothes made in factories in Bangladesh. Last year the factory there collapsed and killed over 1000 people but really, did anything change? I bet the Bangladeshi families still mourn. Note that I am using “we” to implicate myself in all this.
The politicians still argue as to whether we are ruining our planet but the scientists have been convinced. I think we know in our heart that we can’t continue with the same behavior and expect great results in the decades to come.
In Kentucky, I’m continually disappointed with the politicians, who are often Christians, that bow to King Coal. Really? I understand that our state is poor but bowing to the pressures of “Friends of Coal” is a short term band-aid on a poor economy. It is not a long-term solution and coal has over and over again proved to be one of the dirtiest sources of energy.
I know that some of my friends reading this are Christians and some aren’t but for those that are Christians, I want to challenge you here:
-I believe Jesus came to restore ALL things to him and salvation is bigger than the saving of souls. I recently learned that the Greek word soteria means both healing and salvation. Thus, Jesus came to save us and to heal us. He came to save the Earth and heal the Earth. I believe as co-heirs with Christ, we are called to work alongside him in this restoration movement.
-Creation care is often tossed out as an elective justice issue. But, it’s at the heart of a lot of our sin. Our sin as a nation is our quest for more and more, bigger and bigger. Simply, it is greed. If we keep pursuing this sin both in our personal choices and in the policies we pursue as a nation, we will make the planet sicker and sicker. And our hearts will not draw near to God.
-Yes, this matters in regards to our personal faith. But it should also matter because we have been called to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” And this sick planet, with its changing temperature, typhoons, droughts, and hurricanes, will likely hurt our most vulnerable neighbors before it hurts us. Our compassion child in Tanzania. The kids we met on the mission trip to Haiti. The school our church sponsors in Ecuador. Them.
I usually don’t like to be so serious on this blog. I don’t live with these thoughts in my head all the time. But I’ve become convicted that this is very important.
This is what I ask:
-Ask God to show you if there are any changes you can make in your personal life that would allow you to honor him by caring for creation. Recycling might be a step. Bringing reusable bags to the grocery. Taking your own mug to work.
Am I under the delusion that a few actions like this will “save the planet?” No. But, I believe this is an act of obedience to God. It shows God that we are thankful for what he created and that we live, bowed, in gratefulness, for what he has provided us. It also allows us to witness to our neighbors about our call to “tend the garden.” This is the same call Adam had.
-Vote for politicians that also care about creation. If it is not a voting year, encourage your elected official to champion measures that take care of the Earth.
-Encourage the pastor of your congregation to host a “creation care Sunday” and to begin to integrate creation care principles into your campus practices. (Tips here.)
Last week, I heard a talk by Dr. Vergel Lattimore, President of Hood Theological Seminary. He told us that “Hope is a verb with feet.” I have my hope firmly in Jesus Christ. But as for the feet… I’m living out that hope by:
-Seeking the Shalom (peace) of my city, Lexington, Kentucky
-Speaking to others about creation care. Learning about ways I can love others.
-Serving in my local congregation, Embrace
-Caring for my friends and family
–Doing my best each day to live out this verb, hope, and let its feet go for a run.