As environmentalists, we might think about how to improve the state of our planet .This is important but not our starting point.
As Christians, we start with Christ. He is our redeemer, whose saving grace included releasing creation from it's decay and bondage. God created the world complete, but in a state of journeying. God’s plan was from the beginning that Christ’s redemption was to bring us to eternal life and glory and also to bring creation to its final perfection. Thomas Keating writes:
‘Christ who disappeared in his Ascension, not into some geographical location, but into the heart of all creation to infuse all of creation with the grace of his redemption.'
Redemption is personal, individual and cosmic. We cannot limit it to just our own souls. Humans have held the view that we were to use, even exploit the created world because we were at the top, we were in charge. We are now aware of how destructive this is. Pope Francis reminds us of this error and calls us to care for the earth as if it was a person and to be aware of the impact of our decisions on the earth and to carefully use its resources.
How do we live out Creation time?
We need knowledge, conversion and action. For action to be wise and sustainable it needs a good foundation. We need some understanding of the causes of climate change and the effects it has on the poorest. It is the Mother of all injustices causing flooding and food shortages. It creates climatic refugees.
We also need to be aware of our carbon footprint. We then need to pray as to the small steps we can each take. The Buddhists say change is suffering; to change always goes against the grain but God makes attractive what we at first find unattractive.
So prayer is necessary and what Pope Francis calls an ecological conversion. Of course it is a cyclic process.
The actions can be:
· Having Green energy
· A meat free day or 2
· Reduced car use/ more walking and cycling
· Thinking about reducing what we use, what we consume and where we travel to
These are few ideas. Making a start and keeping up small actions are what counts.