Scripture Reading: “Stand up, you complacent women;listen to me. Pay attention to what I say, you overconfident daughters. In a little more than a year you overconfident ones will shudder, for the vintage will fail and the harvest will not come. Shudder, you complacent ones; tremble, you overconfident ones! Strip yourselves bare and put [*sackcloth] about you waits. Beat your breasts [in mourning] for the delightful fields and the fruitful vines, ..”
Time and again in the Old-Testament, the Spiritual health of the people of Israel and the health and well being of their land reflect each other. God had given Israelites their own land, a land of Plenty and Fruitfulness.
- Where is your Canaan?
- What are the unique beauties and distinctive features of the place where you live?
David S. Koetie
provides insights into caring for our place.
Faithfully caring for creation requires us to develop a stronger sense of place. Place relates to the distinctiveness in features of a specific landscape, habitat; and communities. Fields. Forests, deserts, and ponds are obviously unique places with distinctive features…. Â critical first step toward redeeming our fallen relationship with our lands and their inhabitats is attentiveness to the distinctive natural and cultural features of places.
Faithfully administering our calling requires us to serve there places. The term most often used to describe the caring for creation is stewardship :management on behalf of a higher authority. Because a steward is subject to God, she can not simply do as she cannot claim that stewardship only applies to certain areas of the Christian life , such as finance, and not to others. Stewardship applies to all our relationships within creation; land, water, and energy, ecosystems, habitats, and species, our places, our bodies, our work….
As we focus on the importance of interrelationships and our own embeddedness within creation, how then do we serve our places? Stewardship that is place based has five essential characteristics: u
- Being attentive to the local ecology. What species are native to the place, and what are their interrelationships? What interdependencies make these ecosystems resilient against forces that would threaten their integrity? What positive and negative effects on human actions have on this habitat?
- Heading the needs and knowledge of local communities. What we have learned about our communities distinctives features and functions through our experience with it
- Letting local cultural values inform priorities and practices . How do locally rooted values and experiences provide insights into appropriate stewardships?
- Cultivating precaution, caring, and conservation. How can we nurture the special features of the place? How can we encourage sabbath rests and deter exploitation?
- Collectively forging technologies, practices, and policies that enhance our embeddedness on places. In what ways can we cooperate to enhance the interrelationships essential to the integrity of the place? How can we promote the flourishing of all its inhabitants, human and non-human!?
THINK ABOUT IT!
Spent some time working through the questions in the text. And Act on it.
You are not where you are by accident. God has placed you right where you are within His creation for a time and a purpose. What things can you do today to be His Steward in your God-Ordained place?