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Stewardship Moment: A Sense of Place
Verse: Isaiah 32:9-20
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 the 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?
Faithfully caring for creation requires us to develop a stronger sense of place. Place relates to the distinctive features of specific habitats and communities. Fields, forests, deserts, and ponds are obviously unique places with distinctive features. A critical first step toward redeeming our fallen relationship with our lands and their inhabitants is attentiveness to the distinctive natural and cultural features of places and faithfully caring for them. The term most often used to describe our caring for creation is “stewardship”: management on behalf of a higher authority. Because a steward is subject to God, we cannot simply do as we please with creation. Furthermore, we cannot claim that stewardship only applies to certain areas of the Christian life, such as finances, 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, our homes.
Stewardship that is place-based has five essential characteristics:
• Heeding the needs of a local community. How can we help?
• Letting local cultural values inform (not rule) our priorities and practices. How do we act and relate to others in a way rooted to our spiritual values and experiences?
• Cultivating caution, caring, and conservation. How can we nurture and enjoy the special features of the place? How can we encourage Sabbath rest?
• Being attentive to the local ecology. What positive and negative effects do our actions have on the habitat?
• Promoting technologies and practices that enhance rather than harm. How can we promote the flourishing of all its inhabitants, human and nonhuman?
Think About 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?
Post a Response To: Stewardship@MiracleTemple.net
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