Are Christians Naturally Filled With A Sense Of Duty Toward God’s Creation?

“And God said, “”Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.” Genesis 1:14

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What a wondrous creation God has made! As I sit here writing, I look out my window onto a brilliant summer day. The sun is bright in a cloudless sky. The foliage in the trees and bushes, the grasses of the lawns reflect and endless variety of shades of green. There are multi-colored hydrangeas up against the building across the street, and big black-eyed susans along the sidewalks. Our patio is covered with my wife’s red geraniums and hanging, blue lobelias. They are all exuberant in their bright colors. Hummingbirds are busy at our feeder, and I can hear chickadees and robins singing in the distance.

It is summer, the season of longer days and shorter nights. The crops in the fields and the flowering plants outside my window are in the fullness of their maturity. But there is a hint of the coming autumn too. The days are slowly growing shorter. The leaves at the highest part of some of the trees are beginning to turn. The season for harvesting will soon be here.

At night these past few days, the moon has been moving toward full and grows brighter each night. Last night, I was able to see dozens of the “shooting stars” of the Perseid meteor showers that the earth, and all of us, are passing through in the vastness of space at this time. To see all of these things, to recognize our own smallness in the vastness, the complexity, and the indescribable beauty of creation is humbling indeed.

As Christians, we experience of the changing seasons, the immense vastness of the night sky with its countless stars, the lengthening and the shortening of the days, as the creative wisdom of God. When we read the opening verses of the Bible about the creation, are we not only filled with a sense of awe, but also with a sense of duty toward his creation? Do we not hear in our consciences the words, “To whom much is given much is expected.” (Luke 12:36) At the end of each day we are told that God, “looked at everything he had made and saw that it was good.” And we who have been made in his own image and likeness, we to whom he has given the duties of stewardship, have a duty to give God thanks by protecting and caring for his creation with the same care and love for it that he expressed in creating it all. He has given it all to us to be used, not abused. In the face of the beauty and the majestic generosity of God’s creation, are we not filled with humble awe and a desire to give thanks?

Lord, you have placed us in the midst of unimaginable beauty. You have given us the sun to light our days, to bring forth and nurture all that grows and produces fruit and grain. In its light the world is bright with colors of every hue. You have given us the moon to light the night and to draw the seas into ebb and flow. You have given us the stars in their countless numbers that fill us with awe, and to guide us on our way at night. By your grace may we always look upon your creation with awe, wonder, and most of all, thanksgiving. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.