Leading Question: Why should Christians care for this world when we expect a new one in which all the problems will be taken away?
- To Serve the Earth. What are the implications for the environment of each of these verses from the early chapters of Genesis:
- “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28)
- “Fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion….” (Gen 1:28)
- “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden by serve [till] it and keep it.” (Gen 2:15)
Note: To “serve” is the root meaning of the word translated as “till” in 2:5 and 2:15.
In other words, whatever “dominion” might mean, it should result in humanâ€™s “serving” the earth.
- The Sabbath: How might the gift of the Sabbath encourage believers to be more attentive to the needs of the earth? The following verses are significant:
- Genesis 2:2-3: God rests on the Sabbath
- Exodus 23:12: Rest for animals and slaves
- Mark 2:27-28: “The Son of Man” is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus nudged his Jewish listeners to turn the Sabbath day into a day of service, not just of rest. The Aramaic original behind “Son of Man” is simply the generic word for “man” (human being). Could Jesus be saying that “human beings” are “lords” of the Sabbath?
- Matthew 25:31-46: Judgment linked with the treatment of Godâ€™s children.
Note: Those who Godâ€™s true followers serve cover an interesting array of needs. They are hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and imprisoned. What does our care for the environment say about our ability to meet each of those needs? If the church were to develop a plan that would cover all those kinds of people, what would it look like?