“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” (Psalm 24:1) Through these four studies we will explore together what the Bible has to say about God’s creation and the role we play in it. We will celebrate together the beauty of the world and share how we each enjoy and see God at work in it. The studies are designed to provoke us into thinking through some of the theology around creation care, our responsibilities to look after the world, and to start thinking about ways that we could carry out those tasks as we respect and honour God’s good creation. Naturally, those questions lead us to discuss justice issues as we both acknowledge the privilege of living in countries with enough wealth to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the devastation levelled at those countries who are dealing more regularly with extreme weather conditions.
But how does this link back to mission? Firstly, the gospel is not just our means of personal salvation. Jesus’s redemptive work on the cross is good news for all of creation as we read in Colossians 1:19-20, “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.“ Therefore learning to love and take care of God’s world is part of discipleship. You’ll also discover throughout this series that who we are, our challenges and our intersections with the gospel are profoundly linked to our environments. Mission and evangelism therefore is often most effective when it takes into account people’s daily struggles and demonstrates God’s great love for them, just as we are, and his plan for us to lead better lives. As such we’ve shared stories to illustrate the transformative work that is possible when the gospel is explained alongside demonstrations of practical love.
We hope these studies leave you and your group more in love with Jesus as you explore more of his love for us and his world. We pray too that they will excite you about practical action that we can each take to care for creation.