As we immerse ourselves in the program developed by WDP Suriname for the 2018 celebration, we are reminded why the theme “All God’s Creation is Very Good” is so important and relevant to our daily lives.
The Earth, God’s beautiful creation, is our home. However, we have heard and experienced situations that show that our home is in desperate need of love and care. It is not only because of human made environmental disasters, irresponsible developments, uncontrollable wildfires, river contaminations, deforestation or the endangerment of species but also, for the lifestyle, xenophobia, environmental racism or gender based violence, that we join our Surinamese sisters and “confess that we have not done enough to advocate for God’s creation and be caretakers of our neighbours.”
“Environmental Justice is as much about people as it is about issues like pollution and climate change,” affirmed Catherine Akale* at the WDP International Meeting.
We need to be aware and take action!
The story of creation (Genesis 1-2:4) is the main Bible text for this program. During the WDP International Meeting, theologian Silvia Silva* offered us resources to listen to the wisdom of the story. The text “dates back to the exile in Babylon. [In which] behind such beautiful poetry, there are the exiled people, people who have been deported, uprooted far away from their land, their people, their culture and their religion. In a context where the god of the Empire justifies slavery, it was important to recover and state that: “our God is the creator of everything,” and that same God transforms chaos of oppression in a beautiful household that human beings may inhabit.
The wisdom that runs through the text is hope. Hope proclaimed, affirmed, and experienced amid pain, the denial of life, and chaos. The beginning of creation is not evil or sin; creation is good. All beings created by God are good. Let us think and feel for a brief moment the prophetic and transforming strength in this statement: “And God saw that it was good.”
Like our brothers and sisters in exile in Babylon, we also affirm the goodness of creation amid evil, environmental destruction, and social injustice. We affirm its goodness as a word of hope; “goodness that we need to recover through our prophetic and transforming action.”
We invite you to reflect on the environmental justice issues that affect your community. What can you do to keep God’s creation good?
*Click here for the full text.