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Earth Day Reflection

Updated: Apr 28




You may wonder what Earth Day has to do with Christianity. Earth Day is a good reminder to us that the God we worship is the creator of heaven and earth, and the earth belongs to God. Hence, we, as his children, are called to care for what belongs to our Father.


Genesis 1:28 and 2:15 define broadly our God-given vocation. It does not mean that farmers, gardeners, or horticulturists are the only ones who are doing God’s given vocation. It means whatever your vocation is, whether you are an engineer, architect, businessman, chef, banker, doctor, cleaner, etc., your work must not destroy but contribute to sustaining God’s wonderful creation. The bottom line is: do our lives and work enhance and sustain this wonderful world God has created? In so doing, we glorify God and join creation in praising God.


We are also told in Deuteronomy and Psalm 24:1 that the earth belongs to the Lord in all its fullness. This beautiful world is God’s art. We are part of it, and we are tenants and not owners. We are stewards given charge of protecting this wonderful piece of art. If your wife is a great painter and you love her, then you would treasure her paintings and not deface and slash them. As God’s redeemed people, we claim we love God. Our love for him is shown by our respect and care for the wonderful world he created.


What we have we do not own: our homes, our material wealth, our cars, our spouses, and our children. All these are gifts from God to us. Does the way you relate to these gifts bring glory to God? As tenants, we will have to give an account of how we have treated his beautiful creation when the Lord returns.


Do you know that the rich are the most destructive to God’s creation? Yes, and most Singaporeans fall into this category. The climate crisis the world faces today is caused by the rich. While God has blessed many of us in Singapore materially, all the more we need to be vigilant in the way we live. We have the financial power to enhance the world or destroy God’s gift. The “buy and throwaway” lifestyle that is so prevalent in Singapore is very destructive. If something is dirty, instead of cleaning it, it is more convenient to throw it away and buy a new one. If something is old but still working well, throw it away because there is the latest new model. When we move house, we throw away working items and buy new ones in our new house. Is this good stewardship? Many things are cheap when you are rich. The poor cannot afford to do that. I was once in Mumbai for a mission trip in 1990. We visited one home, a 3-metre by 3-metre shanty. That was the bedroom, sitting room, and kitchen. As guests, we sat on the bed and were served tea while sitting on their bed. We visited a pastor who was supported by Singapore. He was better off; he has what we call a one-room flat. He asked me, “How many rooms is your flat in Singapore?” I said “five.” His response was, Why do you need so many rooms, and what do you put in them? Their house was Spartan. The things we throw out would furnish many homes in India or even Malaysia. I furnished my home in Johore when I was living there with all the discards I picked up from Singapore. More than half my house furnishings in Singapore are discards I pick up. I have to stop myself from picking up anymore because I have no more space. In the Bible, the rich are always admonished to care for the poor and the voiceless. What is more voiceless and powerless than the rest of creation? The climate crisis is a call for us to examine how we live.


God has made his creation to provide in abundance. Just cut up a papaya, a chilli, or any fruit, and you will find a huge amount of seeds. Imagine if each seed grows into a plant that produces more. What great abundance will there be? The way we live must not destroy or counter this abundance. If we destroy this, we destroy the abundant life that God intends for us. Cities are very destructive in this way. We need to rethink how we build and live in cities in such a way that will enhance the abundance of God’s wonderful creation.

The climate crisis is a major concern for many people around the world. Many people of other faiths, even atheists, are concerned and are taking action by advocating for sustainable living and reducing fossil fuel use through rallies and protests. Indeed, it is the hottest topic in town. This is certainly a common topic that all of humanity faces. We should see this as an opportunity for us to engage people and share with them what the Bible teaches on this issue. Here is an open door; it is a great topic to start a conversation and make friends and do your witnessing. The Bible reveals hope for the situation.


The book of Romans is Paul’s tome on the condition of humanity, a great expose of human sin and God’s solution to restoring us to a right relationship with him. Yet interestingly, in the great climax of Chapter 8 of the good news, creation turns up very unexpectedly. What on earth is creation doing in a thesis on human redemption? Paul is highlighting to us that God’s redemption plan is not just about humanity; it is about the whole creation. Creation, like us, is suffering and groaning in the pain of childbirth, waiting to be set free. They are waiting for us. When we are set right with God, the rest of creation will be set free from their bondage to corruption. Redeemed humanity will once again live in harmony with creation.


  Swee Kong A Creation Care Advocate

 

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