As I contemplate the unremarkable fact that the climate changes, or the fungus between my toes, or the soap-dodger who’s screaming green murder because some farmer in the Riverina asked if he be allowed to slash some of the weedy rubbish on his privately owned freehold paddocks without incurring a prison sentence, I am reminded about what it means to live in a world which appears to be in a state of decay.
As Christians, we love the world that God has made. And, believing that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, we are not in despair about the appearance of decay. Instead, the whole subject of the decay moves us to hold onto at least two glorious truths with great hope.
First, as Christians we rest in the sure and certain knowledge that Jesus Christ has, and is, redeeming the world and lifting the curse under which it presently groans.
From the South American three-toed sloth to the mighty oak, creation awaits the day of restoration with eager expectation. (Romans 8:19-23).
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have not only secured the redemption of our bodies, but of the entire creation. All will be made new and so we are rejoicing.
Therefore, we take comfort in the promise that,
…as long as the earth remains seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)
Secondly, the Christian, being a traveller who is seeking a better city, is by nature an under-consumer.
We have no need for lobster at breakfast. Our clothes aren’t billboards, cars are optional, we swim at the beach, our play stations are playgrounds and our houses are homes. We live quietly and are in need of little. The little we need, our King provides.
And so, while the world calls upon its people to offer sacrifice to mother earth, we remain captivated by another sacrifice.
We are not indifferent about the state of the planet. We are actively engaged in its restoration through the message we preach. A message of sacrifice and redemption that has already taken place on our behalf.
Yes, we are happy to adorn our houses with solar panels, but our real labour of love is in learning to adorn our lives with the cross (Titus 2:10).
This is the message we preach. The world will be made new by the power of Christ’s death and resurrection. For the believer, cleaning up our mess and caring for the planet is not a means of restoration, salvation or redemption. It is the evidence that we believe the battle over decay has already been won.