Photo by Carrie McKamey
Recently, a friend asked me to read Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si: On Care of Our Common Home. In it, the Pope lays out his views “on the environment and human ecology.” A great deal of the discussion centers on human-caused climate change. Pope Francis intricately explores the environmental and social ramifications of this unavoidable topic. The tone of the encyclical is urgent yet hopeful. Calls to change and to action are offset with faith and optimism.
I’ve spent several days considering and praying about the Pope’s comments. Tonight, the Lord put something on my heart that I’d like to share, though most people will probably think it laughably simple. What the Lord put on my heart is this: God doesn’t want me entangled in debates about climate change or environmental activism because the world already ended at the cross.
I know, I know. You’re looking out the window or at your surroundings right now thinking, What is he talking about? The world is right there. It certainly hasn’t ended now, let alone 2000 years ago!
Scripture nevertheless declares that this creation ended when Jesus died and that in Him is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). We have yet to see the manifestation of these things but the lack of manifestation doesn’t change the reality of them.
Regardless of public debate or environmental policy shifts, this creation is dead. No doubt it has a beauty and glory all its own. But it is the beauty and glory of a cut flower. No amount of activism, legislation, or social engineering will change creation’s wilting course.
I am fine if others feel passionate about the environment. If you believe God has called you to get involved with conservation efforts, I won’t stand in your way. I have no problem recycling or adopting other measures as society deems them necessary. But I’m not going to invest special energy or attention on climate change or environmental issues. My attention will be fixed as much as possible on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me, and I to the world (Gal. 6:14).