Happy Earth Day, 2022!

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

This is known as the “creation mandate” in Scripture. It speaks in part to human vocation and purpose. Humanity, as a people, made in the image of God, is to “fill the earth and subdue it,” to “rule” over it, but as a means of caring for the earth and making it a place for humanity to truly flourish. It seems we have for sure filled the earth and subdued it. Do we care for it? Do we steward the earth well as he has called us to?

Part of our human purpose is to be stewards of the earth God made and live on it and to care for it. Tend to it. Make it a place for human flourishing. Not pollute it or destroy it or treat it as if “oh well, its all gonna burn anyways…” (even if that is true the mandate still stands). Things like the constant fires in the western US and even globally should worry us. The big garbage dump in the ocean and rising sea levels should bother us. The possibility of climate change is something we should consider and not be closed off to. The level of pollution globally should be a concern, something we make an effort to relieve. Finding ways to truly care for the world we live in should be done with joy and gladness (even intentionality) and as an act of worship to our creator and maker of all things.

It seems in light of the creation mandate Christians, of all people, should be most concerned about things like celebrating Earth day and about living and acting in ways that show we actually care about life on earth. The gospel speaks not just to the redemption and renewal of humanity in relationship to God but also the redemption and renewal of all creation which groans under the weight of human sin and failure to truly care for the earth. Let us then consider ways we can maintain our commitment to the creation mandate as part of our human vocation and purpose, which glorifies God!

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