Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Stewardship Part 1

How you view the creation will determine how you treat it.

For example, our consumeristic society has trained us to see creation as a commodity.  This means that we see the resources and goods of this creation for our consumption.  This becomes the overriding goal.  Creation is then received no different than a factory upon which we get what we want out of it.  Look at all the abuse and waste that flows from such a view!
Or we see creation as a means for expression.  We live in an individualized society, where I get to explore identity and purpose.  The creation is then received as if we are god and the creation exist to suit my purposes.

Or the creation is a mistake at best and evil and corrupt at worst.  To disengage from the creation is the result of this thinking.  This leads to a falling away from community to even a disregard for the tasks that we need to do.
Or creation is seen as a hurdle or an obstacle that we must overcome.  Very often the things of this world hinder our progress and goals and must simply be annihilated. Utilitarian people do not like obstacles that slow things down.

My professor at Seminary noted that this view of creation has caused us to blow up mountains to build roads because we want the quickest way from point A to B. That mountain was just in the way.  His answer to this?  A path is more God pleasing than a highway because a path follows along the route of the way while a highway neglects the beauty and existence of Creation itself.  The path fits with the pattern of the creation, even if it is not efficient.
There is a reason why Route 66 brought up cherished memories in the people of my vicarage parish who lived alongside that famous roadway and why route 66 is now neglected and rundown due to superhighways and freeways.

So, hopefully now you are asking yourself this: How should Christians view Creation?  It is our prayer that this devotion has already highlighted ways that help guide us into being better stewards and participants of Creation.

But from this, we should hear what St. Paul writes to Timothy: “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.  For it is made holy by the Word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:4

Christians receive Creation as a gift from God.  It is a gift that we do not deserve.  It is a gift that deserves our upmost thanks and appreciation to God for.  After all, there is not a single thing in your life that is not from the hand of your generous God.  Creation is not a means to itself.  Creation is the place where God has made Himself known to us through Jesus Christ and where we learn to receive what He gives.
A Christian who learns to receive creation as a gift and view it in that way learns how to pray rightly.  That person will learn how to live rightly.  That Christian will learn how to be a good steward.  That person will know how to trust God to provide.  That Christian will know how to be a steward of God’s creation and be able to give an account to God on the last day.  That person will see how amazing it is that Jesus Christ has come to share in our humanity, to die for us, and how to receive him

It is important to learn how to view creation.  It determines how we live.  So it is important that we humble ourselves and give thanks to our Creator for such a gift given.
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