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David Otten: We must show respect for all of God's creation

By David Otten
Contributing writer
updated: 1/23/2019 1:02 PM

Greetings from Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.

Martin Luther penned in his Small Catechism, "I believe God has made me and all creatures."

Luther recognized that God is the creator of all life, life that flies in the air, swims in the sea, and creeps on the land. He sets man in among these creatures as a fellow creature. God is the creator of all. It all has God's name tag on it. We are to show respect for the creation.

We have a common origin with all life -- God and the earth from which God created us. I reject macroevolution that denies both love and responsibility to all life around us. If the "survival of the fittest" is the rule, then I can exterminate any life form I choose, human or nonhuman, just because I feel like it. Evolution needs no reason to kill and in fact encourages it to make the strongest lives better. This is not respect and if we operate in this manner, we fail God, humanity and all creatures.

God made it so that a) All creatures share a need for a home or habitat, b) All creatures share a common menu or table as all are made from the earth, we all depend on the earth for our continued life.

Adam and Eve were to be co-workers with God to care and manage creation. They failed in this. Yet, the God/Man, Jesus, our Lord was the perfect co-worker in restoring God's image to fallen man and in the end renew all creation.

Even though we are not perfect as was Jesus, we are still to work with God to care for His creation. True, only Christ will restore all things at the end, but still we have our responsibility to show respect for God's will. This means we need to make well-informed choices about what we do. What are the consequences of the chemicals we use, the pollutants we put in the air, and the manner we shape the world around us? We are responsible to see that the management of the environment is first and foremost pleasing to God and not merely how it benefits us. It is His creation and it is to be respected.

Practical ideas include:

• Get to know God's creation, be in it, observe it.

• Understand where your food comes from. Go to an orchard to pick fruit, visit a farmers market, visit a dairy or a farm.

• Visit a nursery, botanical garden, or a zoo.

• I would say that anyone can throw a frozen pizza in the oven, but I know a few who did not take it out of the box. However, make one from scratch. Let the kids choose the toppings for their slice or individual pizza.

• Pray for God's guidance to care for people, the creatures around us, and the earth we live on.

• David Otten is pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Eldorado.