What’s a Christian to do with Earth Day
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
The first verses of Genesis lay out God’s perfect plan, a process that created earth and sky and oceans and rivers, a paradise that would provide for every need of His greatest creation, humanity.
But we all know how the story turns in the Garden of Eden. Enjoy everything, God tells Adam and Eve, but don’t eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “for in the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die.” But soon, the serpent deceives Eve, who eats the fruit and gives some to Adam, and God banishes them from the garden.
So sinful man enters the scene – greedy, corrupt, hateful and insatiable. God’s creation is there for the taking, and man grabs all he can. It has been the story of the world since Adam fell.
In Romans 8, the apostle Paul writes about a day when glory will be revealed to us, “for the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”
But in the meantime, our world is filled with pain.
In verses 18 through 26, Paul uses the word “groan” three times – “creation groans” in verse 22; “we ourselves … groan” in verse 23; and in verse 26, “the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
And if you listen very carefully, you can almost hear the groaning of the globe. We humans have poisoned our earthly home. Our forests have been cut down to the bare earth. Polluted rivers pour their filth into the oceans, killing God’s creatures by the million. Our oceans are treated like open sewers. God’s magnificent and bountiful creation is abused.
We live in a groaning world, a world full of suffering. The wind groans as it roars through forests of dead and dying trees. The oceans heave and sigh, and in the turbulence you can hear the groaning and moaning of creation.
God created a perfect planet for us, and pronounced it “good.” God formed the Garden as a home for man, and mankind rebelled against God’s plan. Man was to be the steward of God’s creation, but because of our rebellion, the entire earth groans from the pollution and poison and envy and greed of humanity.
But on Earth Day, aboard this sinking ship of a planet, we find hope in Paul’s message in Romans 8:19-21:
“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
God describes a day that is to come, a perfect day, and all of creation is on tiptoe with expectancy, awaiting the Son of God’s glorious revealing, and the sons of God – those of us who belong to Jesus Christ – who will join Him in glory.
In the meantime, I urge all believers to be good stewards of God’s creation. We are never to worship the creation, as many do on this day. The heavens and His earthly creations proclaim the glory of God, they are not god. Instead, just like Adam and Eve, we are called to worship our Creator, and enjoy and protect His creation.