Kia ora whanau! We begin our Lent reflections by going back to the beginning. By understanding the creation story and the trajectory of what God desires, we can understand how important consumption is and how it can be directed towards the flourishing of all.

Reading

Gen 1:29-31 God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so. 31 God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.

Reflection

God created us as consumers; we just need to do so responsibly and sustainably. There are so many wonderful things about God’s beautiful creation for us to enjoy. God’s world is here for us to flourish in it and to use the wonderful resources on offer. These reflections are not to incite guilt, but to inspire reflection, transformation and action. Some may think it unbelievable, but it is possible to be a good consumer. Too often in discussions around consumption, people drift to the negative aspects. While this is a necessary element of the discussion, I also want to focus on the positive aspects of consumption.
 
God created our beautiful world and entrusted it to us as a gift. God gave us creation as a source of nourishment and resource so that we could not only survive but also thrive and continue to create a good world, in keeping with the way God had created. We are reliant upon God’s creation to sustain us. The resources of this world are available to us to use. There are seeds, trees, fruits, and more for us to enjoy. Consumption is a necessary and good aspect of God’s beautiful creation. However, with this aspect of creation, comes the responsibility of the mandate in Gen 2:15, “The Lord God placed the human in the garden of Eden to work it and preserve it.” We not only have a mandate to work creation, i.e., to engage in acts of production, but also to preserve it. Therefore, while we can and must consume the resources of our beautiful world, in order to preserve it this must be done in a sustainable manner that ultimately protects and replenishes God’s creation. I am proposing that this creational perspective provides a key framework within which we can assess what values influence our consumption.
 
With that in mind, I am exploring what type of people are those who reflect God’s good character in the many facets of consumption. What virtues should we cultivate to reflect God’s good character as we consume? What vices should we avoid as consumers? By placing this within the context of God’s good creation, as those called to reflect God’s character to the rest of creation, we will be able to live in such a way that creation and all God’s creatures flourish.
 

Prayer

Creator God we give you thanks and praise for your wonderful gift of creation. Thank you for the variety, the colour, the beauty and the quality of your handiwork. You are a good, kind and gracious God who gives good gifts. Give us fresh eyes to see the wonders of your creation. Share with us the wisdom to know how best to enjoy and savour this astonishing world.
 

Questions

How do you enjoy God’s beautiful creation?
How do you replenish or restore God’s creation?
 

 

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