God blessed them, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:28
All belong to you, and you belong to Christ. I Corinthians 3:22-23
We have a beautifully created world to live in. Now that spring is almost here, we see evidence of all kinds of life and growth. Birds are singing as they return from their warmer southern homes and begin nest building for this year. A few early flowers are poking up, first through some snow, and now through bare ground. Truly a wonderful world we live in, isn’t it? Except when we look at what humans have done to this beauty – the pollution, and climate change all around us. We have plenty of land to produce enough food, but many around the world do not have enough food to drink. Many areas lack potable water. At the same time as the climate warms, some areas may be under water as glaciers melt. There is much environmental injustice as those with money dump unwanted waste among communities that lack funding or power.
God created the earth, and plants, and animals, He then created people in His own image. He created men and women and blessed them. People to populate the earth, and who are given authority over this wonderful Creation. Ruling over the other animals doesn’t mean we are to exploit them, or waste or despoil them. To quote from a commentary: subdue means “to utilize for our necessities the vast resources of the earth, by agricultural and mining operations, by geographical research, scientific discovery, and mechanical invention.” Along with this we are given the responsibility to care for God’s creation – we are to care for the animals, birds, and fish. This includes care of the plants, the soil, and the water on land, below the land, and in the sea. Without clean water and clean air, soil without contaminants, plants cannot flourish. Without the plants the animals and we humans do not get the food we need.
The ELCA has a social statement on Caring for Creation: Vision, Hope, and Justice. [https://www.elca.org/Faith/
Creator God, thank you for the awesome beauty of all you have created. It is humbling to be chosen, along with all humanity, to be caretakers of this vast creation. Change us from being greedy consumers to trusted caretakers. Thank you Jesus for making it possible for all to belong to you. Help us to preserve your marvelous creation for all who follow us on this earth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.