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Monday, February 9, 2009

The courage to move forward

Reading: Exodus 15-16

God has just performed this amazing miracle to rescue the Israelites, yet they have barely finished praising Him before they begin complaining. "What shall we drink?" and worse:

"3 The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the LORD's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death." "

Despite how awful their lives had been in Egypt, the Israelites wanted to return, despite all God had done for them- over the little matter of food.

We have a tendancy to get wrapped up in the immediate, and the past. Our lack of faith can lead us to give up the blessings God would give us in favour of more security or wealth now, or simply to maintain the status quo, the familiar and comfortable. I feel this is one of the reasons we have been so slow to act radically in response to climate change and the ecological catastrophe. We have remained addicted to fossil fuels despite their rising prices and the national security issues because it is familiar and cheaper (right now, if not in the future) than other technologies like solar and wind powered electricity. Some governments have even tried to distract us by advertising their work on technologies that are at least 20 years away in order to take the heat off the need to switch to technologies that are available now. If you ever get the chance to see the movie "Who Killed the Electric Car?" do, it's an interesting watch. Companies have also embraced this tactic, trying to sell us the lie that we can keep the same wasteful lifestyles we have now as long as we buy "green" products. We accept these lies because they allow us to hold on to the familiar, the comfortable, the status quo. We are afraid if we allow change things will get worse. But what if they get better? We need to have the faith and courage to move forward into the future, to do what is right, even if it is a bit uncomfortable at first.

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Important Lessons from the Bible

Why Jesus came:
"that the world might be saved through him"
John 3:17

Who Jesus is going to use to save the world:
"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God."
Romans 8:19

Our role on earth:
"The LORD God put the man in the Garden of Eden to take care of it and to look after it."
Genesis 2:15

The Five Pillars of A Christian Theology of Sustainability

1. God is the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation.

2. Covenantal Stewardship (we have a covenant with God as stewards of the earth).

3. The creation-fall-redemption paradigm (God made a good world; human failure broke the relationships between god, man and creation; Christ provides hope for all creation).

4.Bodily resurrection(we will rise with bodies, not as spirits)

5.New Creation (a new Heaven and new Earth refers to a renewal and an earthing of heaven, not starting over).

Adapted from When Enough is Enough: A Christian Framework for Environmental Sustainability, Edited by R.J. Berry, Published by Inter-Varsity Press, 2007, Nottingham p43+