The Bluebirds are back and choosing their nesting sites, which for me, means that “spring has sprung”! My mind is full of all kinds of ways I want to participate in the earth being reborn with warm weather. Cleaning the yard, tilling a garden or flower bed, planting seeds or plants, nourishing our favorite plants – it is all participation in God’s creation – which is actually very much a part of our life of faith.
Both the Bible and the Apostle’s Creed begin with identifying God as creator. The Bible explains who made it all much more than “how” it was made. In the Creed, we confess our faith in the one who made it all:
I believe in God… creator of heaven and earth.
The clear water that flows down out of the mountains, the forests that cover the northern part of our state, the bald eagles that are nesting behind our church, the flowers, the shrubs, the newborn animals – for all of it, we owe our thanks to God.
Not only did God make the creation, not only has God shared creation with us, but also the creation belongs to God. “The earth and all that is in it” is merely on loan. God has shared it with us for us to enjoy, to make a living from, to be refreshed in, and to care for. Many of us find deep satisfaction and enjoyment being in “the great outdoors.” I often hear people say that they feel closer to God when they are in creation. Maybe that is part of why God gave it all to us – that we might see God there, in what God has made. We all find life from the earth’s produce – our food. Whether you enjoy a great steak or are vegan, we all find nourishment from what God has made and shared with us. Many of us escape from the stresses of daily life by getting away into nature. All of us are called by God to help care for what God has made – to care for and to care about God’s creation.
I suppose caring for God’s creation is like the rest of Living God’s Call on our lives. God has given each one of us special interests, passions, skills, experiences and abilities to play a role in caring for creation. What is your role in caring for God’s creation? What are your special interests in God’s creation? What is your special set of knowledge? What experiences shape your attitudes about caring for the earth? In our modern world that can get kind of complicated – right? I mean, one person’s rights can be infringed upon by another person’s convictions about what it means to care for the earth! Which means it is extremely important to continue loving our neighbor while we are loving God’s creation.
So, as you make your way outdoors to whatever activities it is in which you find your pleasure, here’s a prayer to guide your summer enjoying God’s grand creation. Lord, we thank you for this opportunity to reflect on your creation, your covenant with all living things, and our obligation to be good stewards of the gifts you have provided. Help us to understand that each of us has an important role in Caring for Creation, by the choices we make and by the actions we take. Give us the wisdom to choose thoughtfully, and to act with care, in accordance with your will, and your love of this good Earth, Amen.