Mission of Creation Care

mission of creation care

“And through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”  — Colossians 1:20 NLT

1.  Humanity was put on earth with a mission

  • God instructed the human species not only to fill the earth but also to subdue it and to rule over the rest of the creatures – Genesis 1:28.  These are strong words implying both exertion and effort and imposing of will upon another.
  • That is the nature of life on earth.  As applied to humans, subduing probably implies no more than the task of agriculture.
  • God is passing on to human hands a delegated form of His own kingly authority over the whole of His creation.
  • This understanding turns our supremacism upside down, for if we resemble God in that we have dominion, we must be called to “imitate God” in the way we exercise this dominion – Ephesians 5:1 – Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.
  • How then does God exercise dominion? Psalm 145 tells us that God is gracious, compassionate, good, faithful, loving, generous, and protective, not to humankind only but to all that He has made.
  • God’s characteristic act is to bless, and it is God’s constant care that ensures that the cattle, the lions and even the birds are fed and watered – Psalm 104 and Matthew 6:26

2.  Creation care embodies compassion and justice

  • Compassion
  • To care for God’s creation is essentially an unselfish form of love, exercised for the sake creatures that cannot thank or repay us.
  • It reflects the same quality in the love of God –  not only in the sense that God loves human beings in spite of our unlovable enmity toward Him but also in the wider sense that “the LORD has compassion/is loving toward all that he has made.” Psalm 145:9,13,17 — The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation. For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
  • Jesus used God’s loving care for birds and adornment of grasses and flowers as a model for God’s even greater love for His human children.
  • Justice
  • environmental action is a form of defending the weak against the strong, the defenseless against the powerful, the violated against the attacker and the voiceless against the stridency of the greedy
  • These are features of the character of God as expressed in His exercise of justice.
  • “For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does. The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.”    Psalm 145:13-17
  • It places God’s care for creation in precise parallel with His liberating and vindicating acts of justice for His people — thus bringing the creational and the redemptive traditions of the OT together in beautiful harmony.

3.  Prepare to conflict with at least two ideologies

  • Global capitalism‘s insatiable demand for more.
  • For the Church to get involved in environmental protection, it must be prepared to tackle the forces of greed and economic power, to confront vested interests and political machination and to recognize that more is at stake then being kind to animals and nice to people.
  • The Church must be willing for the long hard road that the struggle for justice and compassion in a fallen world demands in this, as in all other fields of mission.
  • Pantheistic, neo-pagan and New Age philosophies
  • We are not called to “union with nature” but to care for the earth as an act of love and obedience to its Creator and Redeemer

4. Mission of God Himself

  • Holistic mission is not truly holistic if it includes only human beings and excludes the rest of the creation for whose reconciliation Christ shed His blood – Colossians 1:20 – and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
  • Those Christians who have responded to God’s call to serve Him through serving His nonhuman creatures in ecological projects are engaged in a specialized form of mission that has its rightful place within the broad framework of all that God’s mission has as its goal
  • Motivation flows from an awareness of God’s own heart for His creation.

 

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