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Topic: Green (10/22/09)
By Edmond Ng
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Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; (Genesis 1:29 NAS)According to Greenpeace, forest destruction produces about one fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than that emitted from all the cars, planes, and trains in the world. Countries like South America, Africa and the Pacific however do not have the means or the money to protect these large tracts of tropical forests. Ancient forests house around two-thirds of the world's land-based species of plants and animals. The remaining tracts of forests influence day-to-day weather and help keep the climate stable over time by storing massive amounts of carbon. Logging and burning forests, however, releases that carbon to the atmosphere and creates global warming and climate change.
The crisis of global warming is something all of us must face and tackle if we wish to preserve the future of our planet. Some people believe this is the time for us to pay back for our greed that made the earth sick. Earth was created perfect and man was assigned from the beginning of times to care for the green (Genesis 1:29). We however have failed to preserve the balance between sustainability and depletion. We have drawn from the earth great harvests and produce, but have failed to replenish and cultivate in order to sustain the earth and its environments.
Jesus, in one of the parables in the Gospel, told of a landowner who planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers while he went on a journey (Matthew 21:33-41). When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce but the vine-growers beat up one slave, killed another, and stoned a third. When the landowner finally sends his son to them, the vine-growers killed him, thinking they would be able to seize his inheritance. What therefore will the landowner of the vineyard do to those vine-growers when he returns?
Our earth is like the vineyard mentioned in the parable, created by God along with all the greens in it. Trees, vegetation and plants are parts of the earth’s environment, and they play an important role of balancing the ecosystem of earth. Our earth’s ecosystem however can be depleted if we fail to cultivate and ensure sustainability.
As Christians, vine-growers of God and stewards of His creation, we are therefore responsible for the keeping and reaping of the earth’s produce. We are to do our part in the planting and cultivating of the land, to keep and sustain it, to ensure the survival and continuity of the earth’s environment. God, as the landowner of the vineyard and the Creator of the earth, has the right to receive His produce from us. Whoever therefore is the faithful and sensible steward, the Lord will put in charge and be rewarded at the proper time (Luke 12:42). Whoever is unfaithful, however, will face a wretched end and that has been given to him will be taken away to be shared with others (Matthew 21:41).
Let us all therefore be counted faithful in the handling and managing the resources God has given to us. Whether it be material things, the environment, the greens of the earth, the resources or things we make from the earth, let us ensure its continuity and sustainability, not to deplete the earth of its resource.
Help us therefore O Lord to appreciate and value the natural resources You have given us on earth. Do not allow us to be presumptuous Lord to assume we can exploit the earth without paying a price. We want to be good stewards O God in preserving the balance between sustainability and depletion in using the resources drawn from the earth for consumption. Teach us Lord to cultivate good habits to help slow the death of the environment and the earth.
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