Thursday, December 22, 2011
Minister for Congregational Life, Youth & Spiritual Formation
Let’s hear it from Sky, with Earth joining in, and a huge round of applause from Sea. Let Wilderness turn cartwheels; animals, come dance! Put every tree of the forest in the choir—an extravaganza before God, as God comes to set everything right on Earth and treat everyone fair. Psalm 96 (Eugene H. Peterson’s The Message)
Sometimes it felt in 2011 that our world was turning upside-down. But a New Year is upon us, and I believe it is our God-created destiny in this New Year to set everything right and treat everyone fair…
The Judeo-Christian Scriptures are clear about the idea that God is glorified in our stewardship of the planet. Psalm 96 tells of our entire planet in unison—sea, land, and sky—singing God’s praises. Genesis 1 tells of our God creating human beings in God’s own image, “so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth” (Gen. 1:26-27).
In my Internet-surfing this weekend I stumbled upon a TED talk (www.ted.com) by Pavan Sukhdev on “the economic invisibility of nature.” Sukhdev points out that most of the planet’s natural capital, what he calls “ecological infrastructure” goes unnoticed simply because it is “invisible”. Most of Nature’s riches, because they are invisible, aren’t valued in the marketplace at all. This is a problem for environmental stewards for the simple fact that we cannot manage what we do not measure.
God literally entrusts us to care for all living things. You and I together have the power to revolutionize business as usual—to discern the important difference between public benefit and private profit, and to acknowledge that our planet’s ecology is an interconnected whole. What degrades an ecosystem, or just one of God’s creatures, degrades us all. As Christians we are called in our daily lives to empower this way of thinking and, wherever possible, to make a difference. God’s promise is in you and me—the walking, talking instrument of the living Christ.
Eternal God, help me to make a difference. Help me to be your instrument. Thank you for the gift of this planet and for entrusting me to care for all its creatures! It’s so beautiful. I love you. Amen!
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