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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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In creation, find hope

God in, above, outside all things

As I write, people around the world are turning off their lights in observance of Earth Hour. Earlier today my wife, Ione, and I purchased a vehicle with a renewed consciousness of our decision’s environmental impact. Only days ago a section of the Antarctic West Ice Shelf the size of a major city broke off, drifting away and continuing to melt.

With a growing awareness of the precarious state of the environment and our commitment to stewardship of God’s creation ("Troubled by stewardship"), please reflect with me on Romans 8:18-25. Although I read this passage through the lens of this current crisis, I believe these words, written in another context, say something to us of God’s call to steward God’s creation.

Paul’s words invite us to listen to the creation. What do we hear?

The creation is waiting. “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (8:19). For whom is the creation waiting? For us! The creation is waiting for us to show up as children of God, to live out our vocation as stewards freed in Christ.

The creation is groaning. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies” (8:22-23).


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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