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“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time”
Romans 8:22 New International Version
A Redwood forest is a majestic thing. The fog wafting through the trees is not just an accidental characteristic of the Northern California Redwood forests. Fog is essential to the redwoods. Botanists estimate that up to 40% of hydration needed for the Coast Redwoods is absorbed through the needles from the fog. The problem is that over the last 60 years, the characteristic fog of the Coast Redwood area has markedly decreased. The jury is still out on what effect that will have on the redwood forests.
Not only was the whole creation affected by humankind’s sin, the whole creation still is affected by humankind’s sin. God placed us in the world to be stewards of creation, according to the creation accounts in Genesis. Although the full consummation of the revealing of God’s children is not yet at hand, we are nevertheless restored custodians of creation.
Our family has lived on the rich, black-dirt, land of rural south-central Minnesota. We have lived in the high Sonoran Desert in Tucson. We have lived in the rich, forested, landscape of Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest. Each of those places is beautiful in its unique way. God is a master artist. He looked at his creation, and it was good. That included our role as stewards, custodians, and gardeners. Call it what you like, but it’s a God-given relationship to creation.
From the backyard gardener to the back-country backpacker, we all have this God-given relationship to creation. It is not a relationship of power. It is one of service. To serve creation, to care for and maintain creation, is to serve the Lord. We serve the original vision and purposes of God in his creative activity. That is a mighty act of worship as well.
Summer now claims us. Perhaps you have already been out and about in God’s glorious creation. Enjoy it. Praise God for it. Revel in it. Play in it. Care for it.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO