Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Job 38:2-4 (NRSV)
The final connection we have looked at in our series at my church in Barnsley is making connections with the whole of creation. The words above are taken from the Old Testament book of Job. Job has had a really rough ride, and now God has decided to answer the complaints laid against him. God does this by asking Job where he was when God created the world and all its wonders. The passage reminds us that God created everything perfectly and thoughtfully. We as humans are given the charge of caring for creation.
Unfortunately, we haven’t done the best job of caring for creation. We live in a world troubled by climate change, loss of biodiversity, increasing natural disasters, deforestation, pollution and much more. We cannot take all the blame personally, but collectively humans are causing problems for the creation we were told to care for. We need to reconnect with creation, spend time in nature, cut down our waste, think carefully about what we buy and its effect on creation, perhaps also campaign for environmental issues.
There are many hymns which speak of our need to care for creation. ‘As if you were not there’ (Singing the Faith 724) by John Bell and Graham Maule, is a powerful reminder of how we live and treat the world as though God doesn’t exist. ‘Touch the earth lightly’ (Singing the Faith 729) by Shirley Erena Murray, speaks of how we should be gentle and caring with creation.
You created us, the world, the whole universe and everything in it
You created it all and proclaimed it good
Forgive us for the times we haven’t been good stewards of the gift you have given us
Help us to build connections with creation, to love it deeply
Help us to protect creation and all who live within it, by how we act, how we speak and how we think
Give us the strength to stand up and protect this gift you have given us
Creator God, help us to renew and refresh your creation