Imagine you give someone a gift. He opens it, looks at it and tosses it aside. Never says thank you. I imagine most of us would feel hurt at the very least, maybe even angry.
We’ve been gifted life: a place to live that provides us sustenance and shelter. Whether you believe that all of this stuff called life is gifted by the cosmos in general, or God in particular or by chance, the collective human response has been to look at it and toss it aside.
Why should we care about the environment? There are very practical reasons; it’s our home. Our home is an island in the universe and if we trash it, there isn’t another place to go.
Why should Christians care about the environment? Jesus never talked about the environment. But Jesus did talk about the poor and the outcast. Those are the groups of people most impacted when the land is defiled by pollution, denuded by deforestation and diminished by industrial farming.
There is Christian theology that denounces the physical, that sees the physical world as full of sin and evil, irredeemable even. Only when Jesus returns in judgment, destroys the unrighteous and takes the righteous to heaven will things be right. The earth is merely a means to an end in this theology.
There is a different Christian theology that pronounces the goodness of the Creation as God’s gift and perceives the sacred in the physical: incarnation! Every drop of water that drips out of the faucet is holy. Every scrap of food that sustains our living is sacred. Every clump of soil that produces our food is sanctified. Every tree that provides oxygen so we can breathe is blessed.
Life is precious and it is a gift from God. Enjoy it with pleasure and thanksgiving.
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