Witness to All Creation | UMC YoungPeople
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February 2017

Witness to All Creation

By Minoka Gunesekera

God said, “Let the waters under the sky come together into one place so that the dry land can appear.” And that’s what happened. God named the dry land Earth, and he named the gathered waters Seas. God saw how good it was. - Genesis 1:9-10

Have you ever stopped and smelled the roses?

Or looked into the sky and admired the clouds?

I was lucky to grow up in a place where God’s beautiful creation was big and obvious. The mountains were the first and last thing I saw each day. I also had a family that had the gift of gardening, which enabled me to eat fresh vegetables in the summertime. These memories stayed with me and help me remember to thank God for creation not only in my words, but in my deeds.

God saw how good [creation] was.

But not all of God’s creation is big and obvious. Many things that God has created in the Earth we tend never to give any mind. Not only do we forget, but we abuse. The soil is what grounds the thing that God calls “Land” in Genesis. It is the most important actor under God. Even humankind is made from soil (Gen. 2:7) and yet sometimes we forget it ever exists.

In Genesis 1:9-10 we see God start to organize the land and the sea. We see how much God’s hand was in Creation and how God admired Creation by calling it good. God had so much involvement in all of Creation but, as a Church, we have forgotten how to cherish what God made.

Many churches do very well as cherishing Communion. When we share in Communion we are cherishing the gift of Jesus’ body and blood given for us for the forgiveness of our sin. But how can we cherish other gifts God has blessed us with, like water, land, etc?

We each have a duty to love God by loving God’s creation

The adverse impact of environmental neglect disproportionately affects individuals and nations least responsible for the destruction. We each have a duty to love God by loving God’s creation, all of God’s creation; from the soil to the Savior. As young people we can work on changing how we treat God's creation. And as we better value God’s creation, we can better show love to our brothers and sisters around the world.

Together with our Churches and faith communities, let us all intentionally think about how we can tend to creation rather than torment it. We must work to help the people in our communities cherish the gifts of our land. Maybe that looks like starting a garden, using cloth napkins at potlucks, recycling, or learning about the processes by which we get our food. No matter what we do, I want to challenge us to do better together.

Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference between “use” and “value”?

  2. What is your form of witness to creation?

Young Adult devotions by Minoka Gunesekera.