“What is needed in the current environmental crisis is not so much an agreed cap on carbon emissions (important though that may be for the future of our planet), but a radical reorientation of the way we understand ourselves in relation to the natural world around us, something akin to a spiritual revolution” - Sir Jonathan Porritt, co-Founder of Friends of the Earth.
How we understand our relationship with God’s creation is a fundamental part of our calling in bearing God’s name in the world. Last Sunday we reflected on this as we considered the theme of “Creation Stewardship” and the valuable work of the Baptist Missionary Society (BMS). We might be reminded of this responsibility as we consider the global impact of coronavirus, how it is changing the world, and how we might respond (https://www.bmsworldmission.org/appeal/covid-19-coronavirus-appeal/).
Perhaps you are wondering, does this really matter within our mission? Well, I believe it does, here’s why :
The world is God’s creation (Genesis 1:1). We are reminded of the importance of the creation story as we gather on the Sabbath, a physical embodiment of our conviction that God is the creator and His creation depends on him. On Pentecost we were reminded of God’s active presence in sustaining and holding together creation (Colossians 1:15-20). As we consider God’s Spirit (Ruach) hovering over creation, where we may see chaos the Spirit sees opportunity.
All that God created is good (Genesis 1:31). Anything that proceeds from God’s creative activity, from his hands, is to be affirmed and celebrated. In God’s creation there is an inherent invitation for us to enjoy the world:
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. (1 Timothy 4:4)
We are called to help creation flourish, not to hold it back (Genesis 1:28). In being created in God’s image, God invites us into a relationship of accountability and responsibility to bear God’s name. Our relationships, with each other and with creation, are to reflect His glory and love to the world. As we are invited to name the creatures of the world, many that we are still discovering, we are also entrusted with understanding and caring for them. This is a wonderful and terrible freedom. Rather than adding to the groaning of God’s creation under the weight of sin, let us play our part in what God is doing in the world!
Dunfermline West Baptist Church
Chalmers Street, Dunfermline