We have several goals for and overlapping audiences among the readers of Our Father’s World. Sometimes we want to inform you with up to date and accurate reporting of the status of God’s creation. Our occasional pieces on the fate of the monarch butterfly are an example of that. Sometimes we seek to persuade you, if you need persuasion, that there are serious problems and complacency is not an option. And sometimes we are just trying to share with you our own experiences and viewpoints as we, like you, struggle to figure out how to live lightly in a world that has been damaged by our lifestyle.
This post is different. Many of our readers are working, full-time or part-time or as volunteers, in the field of creation care. I’ve been doing this work for 15 years, and there are many who have been at it much longer than that. This “ministry”, for that is really what it is, can be lonely and discouraging. So much evidence of trouble, so many years of teaching, so little response. So consider this a bit like a pastoral letter to those of us who have given our lives to this work, and occasionally need to be reminded of why we’re doing what we’re doing. Continue reading →
Why should we care about creation? Why should we care about the poor? I suspect you can think of many reasons on your own. I want to stimulate your thinking with some reasons by Bob Luptonof FCS Ministries. Over many years I have admired him from afar for his writings inspired by deep work with the poor in urban Atlanta. He agreed to let me share his blog post, “The Poor Are Always With You” below. Bob makes a wonderfully faithful case that God calls us to care for the poor not in the spiritual or the abstract but in the physical and the concrete, not as disembodied souls but as bodies in creation.
As you read, I invite you to reflect further on the intertwining nature of these concerns. I hope you come to appreciate that each encourages the other. If we care about and for the poor as God invites, we will want to care about and for creation. If we care about and for creation, we will want to care about and for the poor. And just as there will always be a place for compassion, generosity and thoughtfulness towards the poor, there will also be such a place for those attitudes towards creation. Continue reading →
Like many kids, young and old, I used to enjoy playing with dominos. Not playing the game, you understand, but playing with the tiles. Setting them up in long chains, and when all was ready, carefully knocking the first one over. If all went according to plan, each domino would knock the next one in the line, and one by one, all would fall over. We used that image above to describe the series of relationships shattered by Adam and Eve’s disobedience. As we think of how they are restored by redemption through Jesus, the same domino imagery is useful again. As the domino tiles fall, each pushes on the next, and eventually all are lying flat. But if you want to pick them up, you have to start with the first one that fell over, not with the last one. They have to be set up in the order in which they fell. The same is true as we begin to restore relationships broken by sin. Continue reading →
Pop quiz: which word appears more frequently in the Bible: grace or lion?
According to a simple search on Biblegateway.com, the word “grace” is used 125 times in Scripture. “Lion” is used almost as frequently, with 119 occurrences. Isn’t it fascinating that lions feature so prominently in stories and imagery of the Bible? The lion must have held a prominent place in the imaginations and memories of the ancient Israelites and Gentiles; otherwise, Continue reading →
We shared this devotional with our various newsletter mailing lists this year, and we thought this would be an appropriate message for our blog audience this week.
Happy Christmas! May you experience its unique light in your life, as we have! Please feel free to share your thoughts and responses in the comment section or on our Facebook page.
–Ed Brown for the Care of Creation family
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Isaiah 9:2, John 8:12
For those of us who live in the northern half of the world, Christmas comes at the darkest time of year. Beginning in June, the sun rises later and sets earlier every day, a psychological burden made worse by the device of “daylight saving time”, which now has daylight ending at 4:30 in the afternoon in our hometown of Madison WI. It could be worse: People in Anchorage, Alaska, don’t see the sun until after 10 am and lose it by 3 pm. (Those of you who live near the equator with sunrise and sunset that never changes, cannot possibly understand this – but you can empathize with the rest of us.) Continue reading →
At this Christmastime, what hero’s journey are you on? To embark on a classic hero’s journey, one needs to recieve and respond to a call that challenges us to move out of our normal lives – to leave convention and risk transformation. (1)
So let us pause to reflect on a story filled with heroes’ journeys, the Christmas story. This narrative has come to be iconically represented by the nativity scene. Unfortunately repeated exposure to that traditional image through front yard decorations, table-top sets, holiday cards and Christmas pageants too easily transforms a dynamic adventure into a boring collection of misleading clichés. The traditional nativity scene presents a static tableau. It poses Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, bracketed by ox, ass and lamb, framed by wooden stable, faced by shepherds and wise men, overseen by suspended angel and unmoving star. Frozen and immobile, this scene, this still-frame from Continue reading →
A Conversation about God, His Creation and Our Role in Creation