Faith Matters

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By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE

 “On Caring for the Creation!

(1st in a six-part series on the world we live in and how we as a global community take care of it.)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Good news!  Summer is here.  People are going outside.  Masks remain visible but it seems fewer people are wearing them.  Families are actually making plans to take a vacation.  Picnics by the water and in the park are on the rise… along with gas prices and the desire to reconnect with family members and friends some of us haven’t seen face to face in over a year.  And in that reconnecting with friends and family we all have opportunity to reconnect with the environment and take extra steps to care for this planet known by many as that “pale blue dot”.

Over the coming weeks I want to share some thoughts about life and the world we live in and why it’s important to care for the creation around us and how the idea of ‘creation theology’ is even a thing.  As I’ve said… it goes way back and the more I hang around this place the more I realize the reliable stuff is the old stuff…  So here goes…

It starts with God and it starts with us because if I’m reading my Bible correctly and listening to ancient voices it will end with God when there is an end to us.  So, yeah… faith matters… as we all believe in something even though we don’t always believe in the same things.

Example… in 1970 when I was in high school, I saw a TV commercial with a weeping Indian.  Today, we’d call him an indigenous American… but he looked like he grew up here and the point of the story advertisement was a launching of the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign as it had become obvious to many that as Americans… we’d not been doing a very good job of taking care of the world around us and closest to us.  It turns out years later we learn that the man in the commercial wasn’t a native American at all but was the son of Italian immigrants who ran a grocery store in Louisiana.  Nonetheless, after seeing that commercial I haven’t… to the very moment of penning this article… littered.  Not one time. Not nowhere.  Not no how.  No brag.  Just fact. And I haven’t messed with Texas either!

It turns out that in that Bible I read God had a similar thought in the beginning when things were just getting started when God told the first man and first woman that they should “have dominion over the earth… over everything that moves…” And that’s perhaps one of the points that will be looked at… what “dominion’ actually means… and to simply ask… is this the ability to ‘dominate’ one’s own environment… doing whatever we please… OR is this a challenge and privilege from God to care for everything that lives and breathes around us?

Martin Luther was once asked, “has God stopped creating?  His answer was far ahead of his time.  “No, not only has God not stopped creating; God has also not stopped destroying.  If not, by now, we’d all be up to our ears in dung.”  Well, he was a colorful guy!  And he was right!  Creating and destroying seem to go hand in hand—-and it seems to be the way God works as there is a time and place for everything connected to God’s purpose.  And that my friends is… “Creation Theology 101.”  It’s a course we all need … as it’s our way of having a handle on our own participation in what so many of us pray… “Your kingdom come; your will be done on earth like it is in heaven…” part of the prayer Jesus taught his friends… and Richard Foster put it this way…  “The person who does not seek the kingdom first does not seek it at all, regardless of how worthy the idolatry that he or she has substituted for it.”  Faith matters.  God is counting on us and the world’s counting on us, too!

The Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana.  Read more following Brian’s blogmurmuringsat https://briangigee.wordpress.com/.   Please send your comments and/or questions to [email protected].

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