Read Romans 8:18-30. Many of us know the story from Genesis of the fall of humanity. Adam and Eve were tempted into thinking they could be like God, and as a result they disobeyed God. Ever since, humanity has been plagued by sin and wrong, suffering their dire consequences. But we often overlook that creation itself was destined to suffer the same fate.
In Genesis 3:17, God points out to Adam and Eve that the ground is cursed to suffer the consequences of sin and wrong too. Since then, the world has suffered decay and pollution, largely because – in our sin – human beings have forgotten or ignored the responsibilities God has given us to steward the earth. Climate change and its consequences are a direct result of this.
Because of this, Paul tells us that creation itself is groaning, longing to be set free from the tyranny of change and decay. Can you hear it? When you read or see reports of continuing climate change or of the effects it is having on our environment, can you detect creation groaning for rescue?
Paul’s words are not without hope. He anticipates that creation’s frustration will end one day and it will be free from sin, evil, decay and death, just as we will be. In the meantime, we can choose to do all we can in the light of that hope to clean up and care for the environment. But we must realise that creation requires the same kind of transformation as we do in order to be set right again. Thank God that he has a recycling plan in mind!
THINK IT OVER
Think about the following:
• How could you as a Christian or your church take care of creation more seriously as part of your missional activities?