There are a couple of traps that we often fall into when we are reflecting on our relationship with Creation. One trap is that Creation is something wild that must be tamed and controlled by Man. The other trap is that Man is the enemy of the environment and therefore, Creation. The truth lies where it often does, somewhere in the middle between these two ideas.
Read the first chapter of Genesis and you will see that God has a different view of His Creation. God declares all that He creates to be "good." In fact, He repeats the phrase "It is good" seven times in that chapter. Obviously, God doesn't think of His creation as something to be "fixed". He didn't create the earth and all it's creatures as an obstacle to Man's redemption. Instead, God gave us Creation and all that it includes as a way for us to achieve salvation. Caring for and nurturing the earth is a lesson in caring for others. Much in the same way that some young couples may get a pet in order to "practice" the responsibility of parenting before starting a family, caring for the earth gives us an opportunity to learn how to think outside of ourselves and then apply those lessons to God's children and even more importantly to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
We are not called to tame, control or "fix" Creation. That would imply that Creation is flawed. In actuality, Creation is as it should be. It is our job to care for it and nurture it with wisdom.
The other trap we can fall into is the idea that Man is the enemy of Creation and is to blame for all that is wrong with it. If Man is inherently bad, why would God send His Son to earth in human form? Why would He sacrifice the life and love of Jesus on a group as unworthy as we are? Because God knows that mankind is not inherently bad. Man has goodness at its core that was placed there by God. We are worthy of salvation because God has declared us to be worthy. Nothing we could do could make us "earn" salvation. It is a gift, freely given, of love. God would not give that gift to one part of His Creation if it was at odds with another part. God calls us to act in harmony with Creation.
Today, as we lead up to the celebration of the birth of our Lord, remember that God chose Creation as a way for us to experience Him; through His earth, His creatures, His Children and His Son. This Christmas season, make it a point to choose one of these aspects of Creation and, through it, take the opportunity to experience God's love.
I wish you a most Blessed, Joyous and Peaceful Christmas Season filled with the knowledge of God's unconditional love.
Laura B Nelson