I love the book of Genesis and the creation story. No matter how you might interpret it, it is clear that all creation is an expression of God.
The world is a work of God. God spoke, "Let there be ..." and God said it is good. The Psalms, too, say creation is a handiwork of God and a witness to God's mystery and power and beauty.
One of the best known verses in the Christian Scriptures begins with the words, "God so loved the world." One of the most basic principles of faith is that we are to love the things that God loves. All creatures and creation are to be valued and celebrated. ... Human beings, too, are part of that creative action of God.
And we are given a special role of responsibility in creation. In particular, Genesis 2:15 says we were to work it, and watch it or keep it. What's implied is a sense of relationship and care taking. The story goes on to explain how the later difficulties of that tilling and watching came to be, but the point is still that we have a special relationship and responsibility for the earth.
What does this have to do with you?
This past week was Soil and Water Stewardship Week. It runs through Sunday. Many churches receive free materials from the local Soil and Water Conservation District. This is an invitation to remember that we are part of God's creation and that we are here to take care of it. We honor God's work and God's word by making responsible decisions.
Topics such as ecology, erosion, wildlife management, pollution, water contamination, land zoning, natural resource management, oil drilling, alternative energy resources, farming practices, waste management and recycling ... all of these may not seem very spiritual or glamorous in a worship service or Bible study, but they are no less a part of our Christian care-giving responsibilities.
A first step might be to notice and give thanks for the awesome beauty that surrounds us in this part of Minnesota. But as with any opportunity, there is also responsibility. Are we using it carefully, to share it with the next generations? Take time this week to prayerfully consider your earth-care giving in terms of your own practices.
Follow these simple practices as pointed out in the "The Living Soil" resources. As you do them, practice a sense of being spiritually faithful in caring for God's gifts meant for all people.
* Protect the soil from damage by wind and water erosion by keeping healthy plants growing on the surface.
* Restore and maintain organic matter in soil, such as grass clippings or tree leaves.
* Protect and enhance soil life by using the least amounts and the least toxic materials to control pest problems on growing plants.
I close with these words of Adlai Stevenson, "We travel together, passengers, on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable supplies of air and soil; preserved from annihilation by the care, the work, and I will say, the love we give our fragile craft."
Let us be good care givers of all that God has given us.
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