Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year’s Message

The politics of 2019 was focused a lot on environmental issues and climate change. However, I saw as well that this issue is becoming radicalized, with political far left and right opposing each other and using it in their political agendas. As Christians we are guided by the Word of God. In this year's message I like to explore a bit more on the theme of environment and climate change and what we can learn from the Holy Scriptures.

God the Creator
When I explore the Bible, the first thing I notice is how blessed we are by the fact that God created the heaven and the earth, with forests, mountains, and oceans, and their rich life. God the Creator deserves all the glory and praise, as prophet Nehemiah mentions.

“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (Nehemiah 9:6)

Human being a collaborator with God
At last God, created the human being and established him in the Garden of Eden as a steward (Genesis 2:15). He did not want the man to be alone. For this reason he created a helper. It is therefore good to jointly take care of the creation. The man also received a special mandate, to give names to all living creatures. (Genesis 1:19-20)

We observe that there is a special relationship between God, humankind and the Creation. God is the ruler over the heaven and earth, and we are assigned to be good stewards/administrators of His creation; all in collaboration with God Who gives life and brings it to fruition. Thus, whatever is one’s view on the Climate Change, we are taught to be responsible for God’s Creation.

Responsibility for the earth
However, the fall of Man brought sin, evil, and selfishness into the world. Humankind has tried to usurp the position of the creator. Consequently, this affected the way we treat the environment. We deploit our natural resources, use plastic excessively, and pollute our environment and oceans. As a result, the Creation is getting destroyed for our own gain.

How do we want to reflect on this in politics and our personal lives?
Since wise stewardship is a biblical assignment, I believe that in all our economic policies we should consider the impact we make on God’s creation. Although member states of EU have responsibilities of their own, I believe that the EU can be a driving force to jointly achieve a sustainable Europe. For instance, EU can allocate funds in environmental research and innovation and create incentives for sustainable businesses. We should be careful that the EU does not use the Climate Crisis as a tool to try to just take more power on areas that could harm the subsidiarity of their Member States. However this does not take our responsibility for the Creation away and a good balanced should be found.

The need for our responsibility for our Creation is also well-summarized by the ECPYouth, the youth organization of the ECPM. In their Odessa Declaration, they declared: “Our Social responsibility to improve living conditions and society implies also to be respectful of the earth and nature which is God’s creation as well. Research and innovation should be encouraged in order to protect the environment and maintain a balance between technological advances and the preservation of nature.”

Concerning our lives, we are entrusted different responsibilities. At the end of this year, I think it is good to reflect a bit to what extend the hectics of our lives and the successes and economic progress we are pursuing are affecting our lives, Also, how they are affecting our relations and the world in which we are living.

As we move into 2020, let us remember that each of us is a creation of God. Let us be good stewards, managing well of whatever is entrusted to us our families, jobs, studies, our countries but also the environment we are living in. All in service and honor of our Creator.

I wish you all a blessed 2020