Flourish: Defining the Church's Role in Creation

Day 6 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Detachment from Creation


There’s a new term for young people growing up in the age of electronics and the internet: the “indoor generation”. 


In the last century, humans have become increasingly detached from nature. Generations before us grew up working in the field and on farms, workers today are tethered to factories and offices. The statistics are alarming; studies show that Americans spend 87% of our time inside. This doesn’t even account for how much time we spend inside our vehicles.


As a result, our homes have become more sacred than the environment. We are a nation obsessed with our homes, as indicated by the value of the home remodeling industry (it is a $450 billion dollar market). Think about the good that could come if that money went into environmental preservation!


Stewards of Creation


God appointed us the caretakers of His creation, the earth and the animals in it. We can’t really be great at that job if we are disconnected from the thing we are meant to care for. As this is one of the primary mandates God gave us, it probably deserves a bit more of our attention. 


Francis Schaeffer, an American theologian and pastor, put it this way: “Christianity is not just involved with "salvation", but with the total man in the total world. The Christian message begins with the existence of God forever, and then with creation. It does not begin with salvation. We must be thankful for salvation, but the Christian message is more than that. Man has a value because he is made in the image of God.”


John 1:3 explains the mystery of Jesus’ role in the beginning of creation, before he was born to Mary, before his great sacrifice: “Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.” Thus, his work on the cross is made complete through both our salvation and through our fulfilling the purpose God gave to us in the very beginning.  


Place Your Value Accordingly


As bearers of God’s image, and as stewards over His creation, we have an ethical responsibility to care for the earth, to protect the creatures under our charge, and to always value the home God gave to all of humanity. 


What an honor it is that God made us His partners in the greatest act of restoration creation has ever witnessed.


PRAY:


We thank you for the birds in the air, the fish in the streams, the whales in the ocean. Each living thing bears your fingerprints. Each is a testament to your glory. Lord, stir in our hearts a spirit to protect these magnificent creatures and to preserve the world you have given us.


ACTION:


Every day this week, spend time outside. Write down what you love about nature and think about how you can take additional steps to protect our world. 


Conclusion


We hope you found this resource insightful and inspiring. We are confident that solving the issues of poverty and injustice is still possible. It requires a new way forward ― one that changes our consumption habits as individuals and nations, provides support for the poorest communities in our world, and finally, that finds alternative ways of living together that doesn’t devastate our environment or the world’s most vulnerable people.