Romans 1:20ďFor since the creation of the world Godís invisible qualitiesóhis eternal power and divine natureóhave been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that mortals are without excuse.Ē


As a child of about 10, my brother had knee surgery.With a full hospital, they didnít have enough room in pediatrics and so he found himself sharing a room with three other men in the adult section of the hospital.As we walked in to visit him, I noticed that at the foot of each manís bed, just over the doctorís chart, there was a drawing.Each drawing was different, showing the man in each bed in a variety of odd situations.In one, the man was coming out of a toothpaste tube.Another was rolling down the lane of a bowling alley.My parents and I did not have to ask where those pictures had come from.We knew the artist well and recognized his style in an instant.Rob just sat in his bed with a wry grin on his face.


The natural world is meant to do that for us.It is Godís work of art, and the precision, style, and beauty names its author with the flight of every bird and the crashing of every wave on the shore.More than that, Creation contains the message of the Gospel.It is the first revelation of God to humanity.The truth of death and resurrection is written into every winter and spring.The need to love our neighbor is evident in the interdependence of all things in the complex ecosystems of the earth; and the need to love ourselves is coded into our survival instincts.Even those with no real interest in religion canít help but think of God when standing before the Alps or Niagara Falls, and our humility is reinforced by the ravaging power of hurricane, tornado, and flood.


Paul recognized this.Even those who didnít have the benefit of learning about God through religious training have no excuse for not knowing, because they are surrounded by evidence of Godís handiwork.The natural world is not just pretty.It is not just a collection of useful resources.It is the revelation of the nature and intention of God.For us to take it for granted, pollute it, or use it to the point of extinction is like tearing pages from the last Bible on earth and burning them to ashes.Creation is Godís way of providing a witness, a means of knowing God, to those who might have no other way.It is a conversion place for many, and the only solace for many who have been harmed by human witness in one way or another.


Paul tells us later that all of Creation is groaning for its redemption.It longs to once again be the clear and unpolluted witness to the love and power and glory of God that it once was.Caring for the earth is a form of evangelism, and those of us who claim to be the people of God should be hard at work to restore its message.


Creator God, give us the passion to reclaim our role as stewards of your world.Amen.




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