Sunday 4 July, 2021 – Creation a Gift

Genesis 2:1-15 (NIV)

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. 5 Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. 7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Heal Country, heal our nation

July 4th -11th 2021 is Naidoc week in Australia. It is a time to listen, learn and celebrate together the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year Naidoc week is themed “Heal Country, heal our nation.” Heal Country is a call to seek greater protection of lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage. Our daily digests this week will focus on God’s creation and our part in it.

I love a good ending, do you?  The ending of this story is so powerful.  “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”  Think about this, God has entrusted us with the productivity and care of the earth.

What an amazing privilege – such a responsibility and such an opportunity. We have the opportunity to make an impact, to work the land, to make it productive for those around us, but this is not a singular responsibility or opportunity. We are also to take care of the land.  For me, implied in the sense of caring for the land, is to do so in such a manner that to the best of our ability we use the resources of the land to feed, to clothe, to support the peoples of the earth in a sustainable manner. The earth has finite resources and to think that our generation or any generation is the only one that should have access to these resources is selfishness at its core. We are to steward the land, that is to ensure the productivity of the land and to leave it in great shape when we are no longer the stewards for future generations.

God has given us a great trust in placing the stewardship of the earth in our hands.  We may think that we have little influence, but the little we may do when accumulated with all the little that others do can make a real difference. So, as you reflect on this scripture today ask yourself what practical changes can you make to be a better steward of the earth to play your part!

Written by Ps. Richard Botta

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