Stewards of Creation (19-06-20)
Bible Readings: Genesis 1.31; 2. 8 - 9, 15
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food…
…The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Over the past couple of weeks, David and I have enjoyed the Springwatch programmes on television, each one packed with interesting information, live cameras monitoring birds nests and wonderful wildlife photography. During the programmes, we were encouraged to ‘do our bit’ to help the natural environment by planting wild flower areas to attract the bees, by building a pond in the garden to encourage water-loving creatures (no plans yet!), and by keeping use of chemical pesticides to a minimum.
I was therefore shocked to discover that many children in China have seen the sun for the first time, some people living in northern India now have a clear view of the Himalayas for the first time in thirty years, and in Europe, people living in Milan can see the Alps once more. This is all due to lockdown and the shutting down of large industrial areas, which normally pour huge amounts of pollution out into the atmosphere. Scientists also note that the death toll from Coronavirus has been much higher in areas affected by pollution. This got me thinking.
When God created the earth, what he made was good. it was abundant and fruitful, full of trees and plants that were pleasing to look at and good for food. His intention was for humankind to tend his creation and look after it, so we have a God-given responsibility to be good stewards and to look after our planet.
As lockdown eases, we face choices as individuals, as companies, and as nations. While the pollution of the past is still causing harm today, the temporary experience of cleaner air brought about by widespread shutdowns may offer lessons for the kind of world we want to build after the pandemic, the kind of world God intended.
Creator God, you saw all you had made, and it was good. we pray the big industrial companies across the nations will think carefully about their actions before they return to polluting the atmosphere again. Amen.