How Can We Be Reconciled To Creation?
A blog by Reconcilers Together Programme Manager, Rebecca Brierley. This reflection was originally written for Living Lent.
Every once in a while, I will re-read Genesis 1 and marvel that the word of God begins with a celebration of the goodness of creation in great detail. It is always fascinating to me that the entry point of humanity into that narrative comes quite late in the order of things: “God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature SO THEY CAN BE RESPONSIBLE for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and yes Earth itself.’’ (Genesis 1:26, The Message, emphasis mine). What a beautiful and solemn invitation to participate in God’s unfolding energy as co-creators, as stewards, entrusted with the total care of precious Earth.
If you, like me, live in a city surrounded by more cement and brick and machine than birds or cattle or fish, it is understandable why it has been so much easier to live against and in spite of the earth rather than in harmony with it. With the last several hundred years increasingly placing human comfort and consumerism at centre stage, it is also understandable to see how we have lost sight of our first and foremost calling. It turns out that humanity exercising dominion over nature rather than honouring responsibility to nature has resulted in a critical crescendo and the message is clear: we cannot continue living this way.
When faced with facts that may illicit responses of fear or cynicism, it can be tempting to hold onto singular tenants of our Christian faith. And yet, our faith is big enough to hold many truths all at once – that God’s sovereignty is beyond human capabilities or influence AND that God has entrusted us with a ministry of reconciliation in order for all to experience a fullness of life here and now.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here. All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
- (2 Corinithians 5:17-20)
Where there is brokenness, God’s seeks repair. Where there is death, God seeks resurrection. If we are to be true image bearers of God’s spirit, we accept God’s invitation to carry out the ministry of reconciliation through Christ, not only within ourselves and to one another but with creation. In repairing our relationship with the Earth, as stewards for its care and flourishing, we can no longer view it simply as a stage for our lives to be lived on, but as life itself. And as we cultivate new daily practical rhythms that reconcile the brokenness between ourselves and creation, we are co-creating the new Earth with God’s Spirit – and God will call it good.
For ideas and inspiration on how you can reconcile your relationship with the Earth, please visit the St Ethelburga's website.
What does it mean to be committed to the ‘the message of reconciliation’?
How might we cultivate new daily practical rhythms that reconcile the brokenness between ourselves and creation?
Blogs written by individuals do not necessarilly reflect the views of the Reconcilers Together partnership.