At this Easter season, let’s see what the Bible shares with us about green and sustainable teaching.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the Bible is the world’s best selling book. The Scriptures provide answers to philosophical questions like “What is the purpose of life?” and “How do I get to Heaven?”
Many Christians read and refer to the Bible for direction and attempt to incorporate its teaching into their practices and lifestyles. A person who lives by the teaching of the Bible contributes to the quality of life of a community, and is a basic foundation of a sustainable community.
Seeking teaching and guidance relative to green and sustainability in the Bible, the easy compare and contrast is to the time and lifestyle of our grandparents. Simpler times, fewer convenience items, a focus on the bare essentials necessary for life yielded behaviors many seek to achieve today’s sustainability goals, unique to our place in history.
According to “The Green Bible” – yes, there is a voluminous interpretation – there are more than 1,000 references to “earth” in the Bible, compared with 490 to “heaven” and 530 to “love.”
The Book of Genesis is a good place to start, in the beginning, with the six days of creation and the Sabbath: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
And there you have it. God calls the world into being through his divine word and appoints man as his regent.
When man proves corrupt, God destroys his world through the Flood. However, the new world after the Flood is equally corrupt, God does not destroy it, instead calling one man, Abraham, to be the seed of its salvation.
The Bible says, “Let there be light … and there was light … and God saw that the light was good.” It appears that many others have seen the light, thought it was good, and are installing solar technology to make it so. Genesis 2:15 “till it and keep it,” became “protect and serve” or “do no harm” as a believers’ responsibility. All elements of creation – land, water, air, plants, animals, humans – are clearly interdependent throughout the Bible.
Perhaps the best example of Christ’s teachings offering instruction on how to care for all God’s creation is the parable of the Good Samaritan. The road from Jerusalem was notorious for its danger and difficulty. The parable has the Samaritan coming to the aid of a fallen man. Most interpretations focus on the example of how we should treat each other, as humans. What if the fallen man was a metaphor to be interpreted as the earth, air, or water? Would it cause some of us to stop to help? There are some who walk by trash, and offer no help.
Or, would you pay for care of the fallen, as the Samaritan did?
And of course there’s the Golden Rule, “Do unto others …” Matthew 7:12.
This just touched the surface, perhaps stimulating a thought? In Church, next time you hear the Bible or a verse, next time you engage in civil discourse at a city council meeting, I green challenge you to consider how the Bible applies to your sustainable life, and can influence your green choices.
I am headed to an Arbor Day event on Saturday, to plant some trees with my family. On Sunday, I am going to bring out my annual pastel shirt, be thankful for my adorable kids, kiss my wife, and call my mother. I am going to try to listen, and try to act with an ear to the Bible, to hear what sustainable message it has for me.
What have you done for Earth Day? [email protected]