The earth is the Lord ’s, and everything in it… Psalm 24:1
Today is Earth Day. A day when people encourage us to make the earth a bigger priority; to care for it better. Some Christians seem to have a hard time with this, or somehow feel torn. As if caring for the earth is betraying our call to be sharers of the Gospel.
Maybe it’s because so many seem to have gone overboard in prioritizing caring for the earth above caring for its citizens. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been taught to shun anything the world thinks is a good idea. In truth, we shouldn’t feel this tension. If anything, Earth Day is right in line with the Gospel of Jesus. It confirms our faith that this earth needs our help and care.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15
Earth Day—it was God’s idea from the beginning. He expects us to care for it; wants us to help and watch over this creation. It was the original job, the first responsibility. Adam named the animals as he accepted, on all our behalf, this task of tending to the creation.
The very fact that the world is in trouble, that it is not working as it should is God’s truth, not the world’s. We try to explain it away with talk of global warming or littering, or too much energy consumption. The reality is much deeper and darker—even if those surface issues are true. The dark reality is that the world does struggle, and it is because of us. Because of our sin.
The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:19-22
So today, lets own up to our responsibility—given by God, not men. Let’s care for the Earth the way God designed when he and Adam first met. And let’s rejoice in the reality that the earth declares the glories of God. That while it struggles—while it waits for Jesus to set all things right—it still reveals him, still proclaims God.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts 14:17
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.
You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.