Kia ora everyone. Rob here.
We’ve just started a series in Romans in our church. One of the many fascinating things that Paul says in the first chapter is this:
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
Paul’s point is that creation points unequivocally to a Creator. Therefore, no living or created thing should be worshipped as an idol or god. What struck me is that this is true for every person wherever they live. You could be in a desolate desert, a freezing valley in the mountains or an unspectacular plain, and still be able to recognise that there is a good Creator behind the creation.
This suggests that we have always been invited to dwell in the wonder of how the world works. It’s interesting that in his parables Jesus invites us to just that. In Matthew 6 he invites us to “look at the birds of the air (verse 26)” and “see how the flowers of the field grow (verse 28).” He wants us to think about seed being sown, harvests, good fruit, mustard seeds and so on. In his miracles he shows mastery over creation, and yet, that mastery doesn’t exploit creation, but honours it.
People used to think that creation was orderly. I prefer to think of it as abundant; buzzing with life and energy and connections. The deeper you look at any aspect of creation the more life you find. From nano-particles to bacteria to the oceans to the mountains, life is everywhere and it’s formed by atoms, molecules and cells of energy and connections. Energy and connectivity extends to ecosystems and, from there, to the whole planet.
This is why there needs to be grief over every creature that becomes extinct, every habitat that’s been destroyed and every fish found with plastic in it’s stomach. It’s why there needs to be a reorientation of the heart towards the joy that God takes in what he has made. Read Job 38-42 for evidence of this. Read the Psalms. Know that God wants us to partner with him in the renewal of his creation, and it begins by allowing that creation to lead us into worship of the Creator.
If you’re anything like me, you love creation’s beauty, but hate to be inconvenienced. Most environmental efforts are disruptive to us and cause inconvenience. It’s easier to drive, to use plastic bags, to use fertilisers and pesticides, to eat a lot of steak and so on. I’m very aware of the war between my good desires and my appetites. But because I love God and I want to love what God loves I’m asking the Spirit to help me choose better. If creation points to him, then I want to help it point clearly, and in so doing, maybe I’ll point more clearly too.
Grace and peace everyone.