The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s curriculum, Awakening to God’s Call to Earthkeeping, offers a term that is quite helpful in articulating the relationship we are called to foster with regards to Creation. Earthkeeping is a term being used to describe the nature of our responsibility to care for creation. It springs from our wonder, awe, and gratitude for God’s wisdom, creativity, and blessings that fill the natural world. It also grows out of our dismay and concern for the degradations and “groaning” of God’s good creation. Faithful earthkeeping involves extending the justice, peace, reconciliation, hope, and love of Christ to all creation. In caring for the Earth, we also deepen our relationship with God and with one another, making our faith more alive and relevant, in and to a broken world.
Amphilochios of Patmos, a twentieth century Orthodox priest and monk, once said, “Anyone who does not love trees does not love Christ.” In considering the Nicene-Constantinopolitan profession of God as Creator, Amphilochios’ conviction presents the question: How can a professing Christian possibly honor and love the Creator, if he or she does not honor and love God’s Creation? This question is at the very heart of Christian ecotheology.
Excerpts from “Exploring Ecotheology: Toward a Christian Theology of Creation” by the Rev. Justin R. Cannon