Last week we considered consumption and the planet. Given our responsibility to work and protect the planet, we must carefully consider how our consumption affects creation. This final reflection turns our attention to the future. What kind of world are we creating and leaving for our children?
 

Reading

Revelation 21:1-4 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.’
 

Reflection

Over the years, I have watched quite a few time-travel movies. In almost all of them, you hear the familiar idea that in travelling back to the past special care should be taken not to change a single thing, even something supposedly small and insignificant, because of the potential effect it might have on the future. Yet I wonder why people in the present never think that a small change now could create a significantly different future. We know that small but significant changes over a period are significant, so why not begin to act now?
 
John imagines the new heavens and new earth as a place that is renewed and restored.  John’s vision of a future where chaos and death are done away with, where flourishing is experienced is meant to comfort and instruct the Church about what is ultimately important and what we give ourselves to in the present that helps to bring about that future state of affairs. Revelation is there to instruct the community of God’s people with the hope that the church will be the embodiment of God’s future, the way it is meant to be, in the here and now! Revelation is not just about the future, it is about God’s people being faithful now, and through the ages.
 
When thinking about consumption we need to think about the future. We need to think about Christmas! We need to consider the afterlife of the products we consume. Everything that we have ever consumed is somewhere. So where is it? Is it stuck in some dump, is it being reused? Has it been recycled? Turning to the future the key question is, will what we buy be able to be recycled, upcycled, reused or repurposed? Or will our purchases just end up in a rubbish dump somewhere, polluting the earth? When we think about the future, and the impact our choices will have on the future, what do we imagine? I’m hoping for a world where Christians used every opportunity, but particularly over these exorbitant periods of mass consumerism, to carefully reflect on the future of their purchases. Imagine the world we could begin to create with our small but significant choices.
 

Prayer

God of hope, we ask that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help us to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ we may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. Help us to make wise decisions that will help preserve the planet according to the future that you intend. Help us to be faithful stewards that will leave your beautiful creation for our children.
 

Questions

What are the future implications of my buying choices?
What happens to this product once you are finished with it?
Can our purchases be up-cycled, re-cycled, re-used, or re-purposed?

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