When you catch a plane what do you see the role of the steward/stewardess to be? Do you expect them to tell you exactly what to do, force you to do certain things, or to give you some guidance and ensure that you get to the other end of the journey safely and successfully? Giving support as and when you need it?
In Genesis 1:28 we come to the end of the first creation story, God had created humans in his image and then… God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God put humans in charge of the world he created. When you are put in charge of something how do you respond?
Is there a difference between the way that you treat something that you are looking after and something that you own? Maybe we think more carefully about the way we treat it if we know we have to give it back afterwards.
Pope John Paul II said “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”
This week we are looking at the concept of stewardship, this is the belief that the world is a gift from God, and that we are stewards of the earth. Last we spoke about the creation of the earth and the beauty in it. However, what have we done to the world, what state is it in? In the same way that the role of an air steward is to ensure that the passengers are taken care of and get to their destination safely, we are called to look after the earth and, as John Paul II says ensure it is available for use by future generations.
How can we do this? It’s difficult to get your head around if you think about the whole world. BUT if you think about what you can do in your day to day life then it’s simple things such as recycling paper, taking your own bags to shops, not using plastic straws, turning off lights, not leaving things on stand-by. If all of us do these things in our day to day lives then everyone together can make a difference.
Challenge: Think about your everyday life – are there changes you can make that may make you a better steward of the earth?
Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving us the gift of the earth. Help us to enjoy what we have been given and be stewards of the earth, to look after it for those who come after us. Amen