I slipped in to the Faraday Institute ordinands course this morning to hear a lecture by Hilary Marlow on ‘Theologies of Creation: The foundation for environmental concern’. What she said was tremendously positive, focusing on the relationship between God, humanity and ‘the non-human creation’ and then covering the range of theologies of creation found in different branches of the church.
The part that I liked most was Hilary’s interpretation of Jesus’ miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 as a sign to us of God’s generosity. At times when we hear about environmental concerns the response is a ‘hair shirt’ frugality that is very difficult to live out. But we can see examples of God’s generosity all over creation – take for example a desert that bursts into flower – and also in stories like the prodigal son, where the father is quite happy to give half of his property to his son so he can learn by his mistakes.
Of course waste isn’t good and the desert doesn’t always burst into flower, sometimes becasue of interference by humankind. But it’s good to remember that what we’re aiming for in sustainable living is a full enjoyment of the amazing gifts that God has given us.