‘‘Sustainable September’ is an initiative of the Anglican EcoCare Commission who devise a programme and activities to celebrate and honour God’s creation and our place in His purposes. It gives EcoChurch an opportunity to remind you, His people, of those purposes and encourage you to take seriously His commission to support justice and equity in the world (EcoJustice). When I asked Malcolm if EcoChurch could have the Musing space, he asked me to consider how Christians are not simply ‘greenies’; that we are much, much more. I have had the best time investigating and developing that; and the worst time trying to put it together in the limited Musing space.
There are three elements to the “how much more” of the Christian position on the environment and social justice, three essential things that define us – the three big life questions:
- Who am I? – A child of God (Identity)
- Why am I here? For His glory (Destiny)
- Where am I headed? To God’s New-Creation world (Destination).
You can see here the FATHER-IDENTITY-OBEDIENCE triangle in operation, because obedience achieves God’s purpose – both our identity and destination. We are being trained for our role in the future kingdom by living it now, obeying the Father.
As children of God, our destiny is irrevocably linked to the Creation Commission in Genesis 1. There God commands humankind to deal with both the physical and social elements of creation with equity and justice, in His likeness. That’s our life’s work. Looking after creation is both the medium and the means of our transformation into the humanity God created in the beginning. He intends each of us to work out our salvation through EcoJustice. We are the hidden element in the renewal of creation. God’s glory can only be honoured through our obedience to His command to rule our lives and oikoses justly and mercifully.
The universe is both the invitation and the challenge for us to work out our salvation, by walking into the good works God has prepared in advance for us – the work of ‘ruling’. It is our training ground for the future age. We represent the Prince of Peace, the King of Righteousness, the One who came to set the captives free. Look at the world – the inequities, the slavery, the waste and pollution . . . the greed! What opportunities there are to bring glory to God, instead of shame and judgment on ourselves. This is our reason for being here – to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever. That’s what makes us more than simply green in our efforts for the planet.
He has showed you, O man, what is good (creation). And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly (obediently) with your God (Micah 6:8).
Lesley Wilson for EcoChurch