Every year on April 22, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970, when the first Earth Day was held in the United States. But in the fifty years since then, the earth itself has undergone a huge transformation as our energy use and resource consumption has multiplied, transfiguring entire landscapes and underwriting the way we live.
Matthew 6:24 says “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Sadly, the majority of changes we are making to the Earth are in service to money. In the service of money, land is given over for development, habitats are lost, and species are driven to extinction. In the service of money, large-scale commercial mining threatens the Atewa Forest which A Rocha Ghana is working to protect, and cities expand relentlessly, like Bangalore, India where vital wildlife habitats are threatened by urban sprawl.
Throughout the Bible, God establishes his love for creation, the heavens and the earth, and promises to reconcile of all things through Christ’s blood shed on the cross. In serving God, we choose to establish the same love God has for his creation in our own lives. We choose to show our faith in God’s redemption in the way we seek the flourishing and restoration of all things. Earth Day reminds us that ‘the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it’ (Psalm 24:1).
Around the world there are many inspiring examples of Christians serving God in the way they love the places and wider creation local to them. A Rocha Peru is replanting dry coastal forests. A Rocha New Zealand is restoring safe nesting habitat for the ‘Oi’ or Grey-faced Petrel, A Rocha USA has a programme for ordinary citizens called ‘Love your Place’, and A Rocha UK has a growing network of ‘Partners in Action’, seeking to care for land and wildlife according to biblical principles.
We can all play our part in caring for God's world.
If you would like to find out more, A Rocha UK provides regular email updates, and runs both the Wild Christian and Eco Church schemes, as well as helping Churches engage with Climate Change in the lead up to the COP26 meetings in Glasgow.