As the church, we have a responsibility. With what we know now, and the expanded idea of what it is to be a follower of Jesus, we can no longer put politics or worldviews above our obedience to the call and mission of God. We cannot sit in our holy huddles and deny the realities in the world and the many issues we face.
Cullmann (1952:188) is of the conviction that: “The church must be interested in everything that happens in the world, outside its bounds because, though the visible and invisible world may stand unconsciously under the Lordship of Christ, it is indeed subject to Him. The Church has to proclaim to the entire world that all stand under the same Lordship, whether they belong to the Church or not. Because the Church alone knows that “Jesus Christ rules as Lord” (Phil. 2:11), it must preach this Lordship to those who, without knowing it, are also subject to it and fulfill the function assigned to them.”
As with Noah, God comes to do something through us that seems impossible. He wants us to be involved in revealing Him to the world and be agents of change. As the church, we need to serve. John Wimber used to say that the “meat is on the street” meaning that real growth in our lives as Christians, occurs when we are serving others (not only in church). With regard to environmental stewardship, the ‘meat’ is also in the hills, rivers, valleys and mountains. There is something unique about using environmental community service to show others the beauty of the Creator (Robinson, 2006:140)
We need to be ‘Word workers’, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind (physically and spiritually), sowers of justice, compassion, mercy and announcers and bringers of the Kingdom. In this call, we also need to care for the environment, as it is a part of the Kingdom of God. Let us have our say and do what we say.
Let’s take St Francis’s admonishment (Bouma-Prediger, 2001:187): “to all who follow Jesus to preach the gospel always, and if necessary use words. The world is watching, and what we do and fail to do with respect to the earth speaks volumes.”
In his essay on “Evangelism and the care of the earth”, Joseph Sittler challenges the church to live a belief when he says:
If in piety the church says, “The earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1), and in fact is no different in thought and action from the general community, who will be drawn to her word and worship to “come and see” that her work or salvation has any meaning?
Witness in saying is irony and bitterness if there be no witness in doing”. (Bouma-Prediger, 2001:187)
The Kingdom of God is a reality and it is where we are living now. The magnanimous wonder of His creation is awesome – light, water, sky and the earth with its vegetation and living creatures.
The most significant and challenging of all is that God has endowed Man with the ability to be faithful stewards of His creation.
God has given us the mission and the call to be instrumental in showing the world their Creator, by caring for His creation – ALL OF IT!