For a long time, I was puzzled by the idea that we are all made in God's image. Not that I don't believe God can do anything He wants, just that I had a hard time wrapping my head around it. After all, we all look different and have different personalities and gifts. How can we ALL be made in the image of God?
The answer came through a Bible commentary that I studied several years ago. In it, the author discussed how we are all made in the image of God but it is only when we are all together that the image is complete. In other words, I am part of the image of God. My husband is another part. My neighbors and children and strangers around the world are all other parts of His image. But not until we are all (and I mean ALL) together does the image come together.
That made sense to me and it struck me as a beautiful image. All of us are pieces of a bazillion piece jigsaw puzzle that, when completed, reveals the full and complete image of God. How cool is that?!
With that in mind, it's easier to see how valuable each one of us are. We all have different gifts that we are called to use for the greater glory of God. One gift is not more important or more necessary than another. They all have their place. Now, if I were deathly ill, I would value someone more at that moment who had the gift of healing rather than one with the gift of generosity. (Unless they were paying my medical bills!) Each gift has it's own unique value, but also it's own purpose and it's own time. In 1 Corinthians 12:12-17, Paul talks about the Body of Christ and the necessity of each of the parts. We are those parts. We depend upon each other. Only together are we the image of God.
When we talk about stewardship of the environment, one point I want to make over and over again is that we are CONNECTED. Our actions (or inactions) affect the other parts of the Body of Christ. So when we talk about being good stewards of creation, we do it for God but also for each other.
So, I encourage you to serve each other by taking steps to be a better steward of the earth. After all, recycling that water bottle or investing in cloth napkins is a pretty easy way to "love your neighbor".