We must do better caring for the world

By Riverine Herald

THIS term my son’s school has caught the recycling bug.

He has been learning about ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.

There are special bins in the classroom, and plastic bottle recycling competitions.

His show and tell is now about recycling in the home.

The end result is that we now have a little recycling policeman in the house.

Telling us when we are using too much plastic or putting the compost in the wrong bin.

After seeing his awareness grow and seeing his enthusiasm, sustainable living is beginning to catch on.

He has made it personal for me and I have learnt from him.

We now have special recycling projects in the back yard with a renewed zest for sustainable living.

More riding to work awaits.

It should be personal to all of us.

Usually, the motivating argument presented for this is our responsibility to future generations.

This is a good reason to care for our world, from a Christian point of view also, as we have a responsibility to love our neighbour.

Our neighbour could legitimately be extended beyond those in immediate need around us, to those in potential need beyond our time.

When the Bible implores us to care for our world, such as in Psalm 8, it is personal because it is a role given to humanity by God.

Creation is his gift to us to care for and enjoy.

As beings made in the image of God, it couldn’t get more personal.

We are a part of his creation given the role of stewardship.

Biblical writers, when communicating about creation, often use the technique of personification to show us what we can learn from the created order.

In Psalm 19 the heaven’s ‘declare’ the glory of God, skies ‘proclaim’ his handiwork.

All can hear its ‘voice’.

The environment is our first introduction to God.

He himself then stepped into our world through the person Jesus, deepening that relationship and making it very personal.

Unfortunately, the noise from creation isn’t always so full of joy.

Paul writing to the church in Rome speaks of the whole creation ‘groaning’ due to the disruption and brokenness it longs to be freed from.

Let creation speak and we might not be pleased by what it has to say to us.

But there is hope because God hears the cry for renewal and promises a new creation in the end.

His work has begun and in Jesus we see how spectacular it will be.

In rising from the dead Jesus shows that no brokenness is too great for God to overcome.

My son has shown me how my partnership with God requires me to think about my impact on the earth and to join with God and others to bring renewal to this world.

This personal lesson has challenged how I live, but it has been fun too.

Together we are becoming better stewards of God’s world that has been entrusted to us.

Tim Bowles

Moama Anglican Grammar School chaplain