Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Anglican Lutheran Lenten Reflections

Stewardship (Genesis 1:28–31)

Daily Lenten Reflection - Monday, 27 March 2017

Week 5: Creation—Not for Sale

Week 5, Day 2

A hymn by Folliot Sanford Pierpoint, 1854

For the beauty of the earth,

for the glory of the skies,

for the love which from our birth

over and around us lies;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

For the beauty of each hour

of the day and of the night,

hill and vale, and tree and flower,

sun and moon, and stars of light;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of ear and eye,

for the heart and mind’s delight,

for the mystic harmony,

linking sense to sound and sight;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

For the joy of human love,

brother, sister, parent, child,

friends on earth and friends above,

for all gentle thoughts and mild;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

For thy church, that evermore

lifteth holy hands above,

offering up on every shore

her pure sacrifice of love;

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

For thyself, best Gift Divine,

to the world so freely given,

for that great, great love of thine,

peace on earth, and joy in heaven:

Lord of all, to thee we raise

this our hymn of grateful praise

Stewardship (Genesis 1:28–31)

Patricia Lenton, Anglican, Argentina/England

God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Creation cannot accept an act of contrition—extinct species will not come back with a confession, and deforested areas will not be green again just because of a spoken apology. We need to do more than to admit our guilt—we need radically to change our behavior, reverse our past mistakes and become responsible stewards. All of humanity needs to embrace genuine stewardship, care and responsibility that go beyond faith but are firmly rooted in a loving Creator God. We need radical and responsible stewardship. Where understanding overtakes greed there will be life; where collaboration overcomes selfishness there will be creative mission.

Creation is not for sale; it is not a trophy for hanging on the wall. Ours is a time to walk the ways that are pleasing to God and to try to reduce the damage done to God’s creation by reversing trends of destruction and opening our eyes to the inequalities that result from the disproportionate and inappropriate use of creation by those pursuing only their self-interest.

We cannot take wealth, fame or reputation to the grave. It will all stay behind. We must change our apathetic behavior so that no more species are driven to extinction. We must change our behavior before more people, cultures, civilization and parts of God’s creation are driven to their graves. Creation is not for sale.

“On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the Anglican-Lutheran International Coordinating Committee has compiled a collection of Lenten reflections to commemorate the anniversary. The text can be used by small groups or individual, as a Lenten reading or as a resource for the weeks between Easter and Trinity Sunday. We are sharing these reflections daily during Lent, hoping that our common experience of God’s grace may draw our two families of churches closer together in this extraordinary year, and be used beyond 2017 and actually at any time.”