Each one of us has a responsibility as one of God’s children, to take care of the earth He created. In the very first chapter of the Bible, God gives us that responsibility and it should be taken seriously. Nobody is perfect, but we could do better. He trusts us. We should honor that trust.
Read Genesis 1:27-31.
Bring a plastic bag, a styrofoam cup and your Bible.
If you could, what kinds of things would you like to keep forever? Maybe a stuffed animal? A favorite book? A toy? Your family? Your ability to sing or play soccer really well? A pet? Things that make us happy or things that make us better are good things to keep.
What kinds of things would be bad, if we kept them forever? Old dirty socks? A rotten egg? Plastic water bottles? Hurt feelings? Scary experiences? [Read Genesis 1:27-31] In the very first chapter of the Bible, God created this wonderful earth - then He created us. The very next thing He did, was put us in charge of taking care of all of it. What an honor!
So, when you plant a garden or feed your dog or pick up trash in the park, you are doing what God asked us to do. There are lots of decisions we make every day and activities that we choose that help take care of God’s world. There are other activities that hurt God’s world. No matter how much good we do, we have to stop doing the harmful things or the good things don’t matter.
The other day, I was on the Science Learning Hub. I found a chart that told me how long it takes various things to biodegrade. That means how long it takes for them to breakdown and become part of the earth again. Vegetables take about 5 days to 1 month. Aluminum cans take 80-100 years. Styrofoam cups and plastic bags take 500 years to forever!* If we keep making and using things that don’t ever go away, we will always have them.
I have the right to choose the eternal things I make and take care of. Some things were meant to be eternal, like the love of family and the chance to do kind things for people around me. I need to choose to make more of those things and pass them on to others. If each of us make decisions that make our world healthier, kinder and more equal, then the things that shouldn’t be eternal won’t get made in the first place, like styrofoam cups.
Life is a story. One that we write as we live. When our great-grandchildren tell our story, what do you want them to say? What do you want them to remember about you and who you are today? We, as Christians need to create more eternal goodness in the world - so that we leave future generations with more than just styrofoam cups and plastic bags.
God, thank you so much for this beautiful world that you made. We are so blessed to have the responsibility of being caretakers of your creation. Help us to be good at that task and to leave truly eternal things behind, when we leave. In your precious name we pray. Amen.
*From Science Learning Hub (https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/resources/1543-measuring-biodegradability)