Friday 14 June 2019


- the most important word in all aspects of ecology
The title of John Donne’s meditation “No man is an island” tells what this is all about. We are in this together. The actions of every individual will in one way or the other influence all. My choices and preferences will have consequences for others, consequences that can be positive or negative. 

The kind of transport I choose for my travels, will influence the climate. The same effect will the kind of energy I use for heating my apartment have. And - if I am not given a choice, I can influence the political system that makes decisions concerning what kind of energy my nation should focus on in the future. What I do with my rubbish and waste is important for the sustainability of our globe. Today almost everything is possible to recirculate.

If I am not careful with my diet and if I do not exercise to keep fit, it is likely that I will become a burden to the health care system. It is a paradox that the health-care systems around the world have to use so much resources on treating effects of unhealthy lifestyles, which have led to over-weight, alcoholism, substance abuse, smoking etc. What if more of these resources could have been used for finding cures for life-threatening diseases instead?

When God created the world, he gave his uttermost creature in the creation the responsibility to be stewards of his creation. This calling has never been made redundant. On the contrary it means that believers, more than anyone else, should be more conscious about how we care for the nature (God’s Temple), our body (God’s Temple) and our spiritual life (God’s Temple).

In none of these fields we operate in ‘singular’. We are always ‘plural’. We are in this together.
Together with each other. Together with Jesus. 

Jesus chose to spend time together with his disciples. Many times he encouraged them to learn lessons from the nature, the seasons, the animals, the birds, crops and harvest. Lessons that also could be transferred into their spiritual life. 
It may be appropriate to ask if the ‘ecological’ challenges we face in the world today, is caused by ‘ecological unbalance’ in the life of the believers. 

Yes, it is right and good to have an individual relationship with Jesus, it is indeed very important. However, if this means that the faith only has consequences for my individual life, I have missed the target. I often quote John Wesley’s words: “I shall endeavour to show, that Christianity is essentially a social religion; and to turn it into a solitary religion, is indeed to destroy it”
Likewise, I have often said that William Booth’s most important message is captured in one word: ‘OTHERS!’.

In Acts 4 Luke tells us that the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law knew that the disciples had been with Jesus. When we are together with Jesus, ‘others’ will know that we have been together with him. Therefore, they will also notice how we live our lives – that will more and more relate to how serious we take our calling to be good stewards, which includes the way we care for the world we are all a part of.

Are we together in this?

Published in the Russian Вестник спасения (War Cry) # 3 2019
* Illustration from the article - The bottom text = Together - the most important word in all aspects of ecology. The text-box: When God created the world, he gave his uttermost creature in the creation the responsibility to be stewards of his creation.

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