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God wants to reconcile all things to himself, and that includes his beautiful creation. We all have a role to play to bring hope.
We live in an amazing, wondrous and beautiful place. When we walk around the places we live, work or study we don’t very often grasp this. Most of our life is average, ordinary and mundane, at least on the surface of it. But maybe we need to rewire or retune our approach to life to rediscover this sense of awe and wonder, even when we go about our ordinary, everyday lives.
The God we worship is first and foremost a relational God. We are made for relationship and God has made the world in such a way. We relate to God, to others and to his created world, and each of these relationships really matter.
God is also about restoration and this includes the restoration of the world he loves and created (Colossians 1:15-21). God wants to renew all things. Not only the plants, trees and animals, but all things, including our relationships. This includes our relationship with how and what we consume, and how that relates to the world we inhabit. The exciting reality is that God is calling us to play a part in outworking this in our ordinary everyday living as part of our discipleship, as an act of worship (Romans 12: 1-2).
NT Wright puts it like this in his excellent book, Surprised by Hope:
‘What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbour as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether. They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.’
God has entrusted us with his beautiful creation and we are called to care for it. Even though it groans and even though we might groan at times at the state of this world in its present form, we are called to look for and work for signs of hope (Romans 8:19-21). Here’s a question to to consider: If we say we don’t care about the changing climate, are we actually saying we don’t care about the world God created and therefore the people God made in his image? If we claim to love God and love our neighbour then we should care about playing our part to tackle climate change as it’s having a huge impact upon our global neighbours (Luke 10:27).
Our theology is important, but it must be a lived-out theology put into practice for it to be meaningful. Change starts with our lifestyles, by raising our voices and by seeking to live out the values that we hold.
We need to play our part in a way of living that allows all people to flourish and calls time on high levels of inequalities – it can’t be fair unless it’s also sustainable. We need a transformational change in our values, theology and lived-out practice to help us journey towards a zero carbon economy, or more people will be pushed into poverty, and all the huge progress of the last 25 years will be lost. It can’t be fair unless it’s also sustainable.
Renew our World is a movement of Christians passionate about tackling inequality and poverty, and to do so in a way that protects and restores our shared environment. This mission is known as a Restorative Economy.
We need to think in terms of a ‘larger us’, thinking less of ‘people like us’ and more of ‘people – like us’; a longer future, to think beyond election and news cycles to what we are handing on to future generations; and a better good life, accepting human flourishing is less about consumption and more about relationships – with each other, with all of creation, and with God.
We therefore walk on in our journey with our bibles in one hand and our newspapers (okay our phones or tablets) in the other hand. Praying, living and seeking to be the change we want to see in the world. This pathway is not an easy one, but we don’t walk alone, we walk with God and with each other, in relationship, knowing that we are loved and that we can love because God first loved us (1 John 4: 18-19).
Will you join us on this journey as we restore our relationships with each other, with God, and with his creation?
Sign up and commit to being part of this mission to #renewourworld:
God wants to renew all things, including creation.
Lent begins on February 14. Take time to reflect, pray and act with us as Easter approaches