Would Jesus be a Greenie?

Read Genesis 1:26-31

We all know that the Earth isn’t feeling to great. Whenever you watch TV or open a newspaper or magazine there is some terrifying new study that seems to say that we’re even more screwed that we thought we were yesterday.

It’s terrifying. Despite our dreams in the 70’s of simply moving onto a new planet and messing that one up – it doesn’t seem to be a real option outside of Hollywood. And finally all those 2nd and 3rd world countries are starting to catch up with our resource hungry western lifestyles… and things aren’t looking good.

If nuclear war was the big concern of last century, then you can ask most people in the street and you’ll get the feeling that the environment is the big concern of this one.

So the question we’re talking about today is, if Jesus were sitting with us today, would he be a greenie? Wearing those khaki shorts and green peace T-shirt, and maybe even with some chains and a padlock in case he runs into a Kauri tree that’s about to be cut down…after all he had a beard!

Now, I’ve heard some people say things like “Well, God’s going to destroy the earth anyway, so what’s the point in trying to look after it?” . I’ve heard TV evangelists saying things like “I’m here to save the Goldfish not clean up the fish bowl.” And this idea that being followers of Jesus is all about getting your soul on a life raft to escape this burning ship called earth before it sinks! All of this obviously leads to a George Bush style “rape and pillage” view of creation.

But today let’s challenge that whole headspace. As we heard today, after God created the earth he said that it was very good! Why would God make something that was very good and then destroy it? That goes against the whole way that God works! The lords prayer says – “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” NOT “may we totally screw up your earth but in the end it’ll be sweet because you’ll nuke it and we’ll all just have a party in heaven, no effort required”. In the bible Paul talks about the fact that the earth is Groaning in child birth as it waits the day when God recreates it a new.

So I’m afraid we have no excuses when it comes to looking after our home planet and I’ll give you three reasons why.

You know when you go for a walk in the bush and the sun hits your face and you get this feeling of being connected to everything… that’s because we’re all part of the same creation of God, and that God is pulsing and giving life through all of the earth. Yes – humanity is special because we’re made in the image of God – but we’re also connected to everything because we’re still part of that same creation. So, we should look after ALL creation because they are like our brothers and sisters of creation. Treat the earth like it’s family.

Secondly, when God created the earth, it was exactly how he wanted it to be – it was perfect. But then us humans came along with our selfishness and self-centred ness and tainted that created order, which means the way things are now aren’t how it was supposed to be, or will be in the future. We are right now living in that messy middle period. When we screwed up the created order, three things changed:
Our relationship with God became a struggle- which is why people so often feel lost and without meaning in life.
Our relationship with each other got messy – which is why we have wars, violence, disputes and affairs rather than just getting along.
And our relationship with creation became tainted which is why humans struggle to live in synch with the environment and we keep wanting more of everything.

So, we shouldn’t be surprised that we mess the Earth up, we mess all our other relationships up after all! BUT, just like we make an effort to do what God says and buck the trend by trying to love people we don’t like or resolving things in non violent ways, and finding time to let God speak to us through the noise of life, we also should find ways to rekindle and re-synch our relationship with the environment. Because that’s how we were originally created to live.

Lastly, in Genesis the bible says that God gave Humans Dominion over the earth. Some people have thought that this has given them God’s license to use and abuse it, and get out of the earth whatever benefits humanity the most – pillage the planet for everything it has to offer because that’s what God wants us to do… But the word Dominion is most commonly used in the bible to talk about the dominion that Kings had over there people – and the bible commanded that a king should neither exalt themselves above other members of the community” Is this really the way we treat our environment? Most of us would say, not really.

So maybe we need to start thinking of our role less as kids going wild with paint and glue and food messing up the lounge because in the end mum and dad will come and clean it up anyway. And more as Caretakers who have been given a gift and responsibly to make sure God’s creation doesn’t get broken on our watch.

And as we take up the challenge of this new job, we shouldn’t feel totally helpless – like it’s all gone to shit already and it’s hopeless – because God has a plan to renew creation! And God also has a vested interest in looking after creation as well as us looking after it – it’s not our solo act to clean up the earth, that giv es us to much credit – so he’ll do his part in helping us as the official caretakers of the earth.

Ask yourself the following questions below regarding these five environmental areas: FOOD, WASTE, AIR, SOIL, ENERGY.

  1. What connections come to mind between this area & God?
  2. What do you already do regarding this area as God’s caretaker?
  3. What are some creative & practical ideas of how members of The Kitchen could take care of this area better?



1 Comment »

  1. Brad Said:

    revelation 11 v 18 : ” . . . and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth”

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