The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


God's garden planet

Caring for creation goes beyond stewardship

Imagine Earth is the Garden of Eden, not difficult for us who’ve seen photos of it taken from space by astronauts—a spectacular blue globe in the midst of a vast darkness, a world of water and a web of life.

This Earth, our home, is God’s garden planet. Our faith has this vision: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son ...” (John 3:16). God has come into the midst of the evils of human life, by Jesus’ death and resurrection, to forgive sins and, so, to forge what can be a new beginning for every human creature.

Photodisc imageEven more, faith envisions that by that same divine intervention in Christ, God inaugurates a new beginning not just for the Earth but for the whole universe—for the sake of peace on Earth here and now, and for the sake of peace in the entire cosmos, then and there, one great and glorious day when all things will be made new (Revelation 21).

If this vision of faith is true, as I believe it is, how are Christians to live on this garden planet today as God originally intended?

The Scriptures give us clues about how God originally intended humans to be in nature and to live with nature. In Christ we are called, as renewed creatures, to be in nature and to live with nature in three related, but distinct, ways. It starts with stewardship, in a new-old understanding, and moves us into the new responsibilities of partnership and “honorship.”

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February issue


Embracing diversity