Lent 4 - God's Communal Covenant
One of the biggest problems with modern evangelical Christianity is the focus on individualism. Salvation has become a personal experience; repentance is between an individual and God; we talk about defending me and my people; our worship songs sing about my God and what God can do for me personally.
Even when we talk about the great biblical stories like Noah's ark, we forget that Noah wasn't the only person that God spared and made a covenant with. Today's reading reminds us that God's love and care is for all of God's creation.
When God creates a covenant with Noah after the great flood, he makes it "with Noah and every living creature with Noah, a covenant for all generations to come" (v. 12). It then goes on to say that the rainbow in the sky is "a sign of the covenant between God and the earth" (v. 13). These are very important points to take note of because they remind us that God's covenant is not only with all of Noah's descendants, but with all of God's creation as well, the animals and the earth.
The mission of God is always communal. It is for all people; all of creation. When we only focus on caring for our kind (those who look like us, sound like us and believe like us), then we are doing a disservice to God's covenant with us.
God's call for us to care for one another extends beyond our inner circles, to the fringes of society; even to those who we would consider our enemies (Matthew 5:44). It also includes a call to be honourable stewards to all of God's creation, animals and nature alike.
Let us be careful of making our faith an individualised experience. God has made a covenant with all of the earth. In order for God's plan for the world to be fulfilled, all of creation will be in peace and harmony with one another. How does this realisation change the way that you view other people, nature or the animals of the earth?
Prayer: Almighty God, You created everything on the earth and have entrusted it to our care. We are sorry for those times that we have neglected to care for Your creation. Help us to be faithful stewards to all of Your creation. Empower us to care and fight for all humans, particularly those who we do not see eye to eye with. Help us to know where to stand up against the mistreatment of Your creation: human, nature and animals. Amen.
Image Source: Shane Rounce