Evan Almighty

I had the opportunity to watch Evan Almighty again over the Christmas Holiday. I guess because it has some religious overtones it gets the holiday slot along with the myriad Santa Clause movies. As I watched I picked up a couple things that I had missed the first time I saw it. The theme seemed to be about how one person can make a difference in a culture dominated by people out to make a quick buck. Not an original idea, but one that should be kept near the front of our consciousness. However, beneath that the story intimated that God, (Morgan Freeman, in my opinion better than George Burns), was concerned about the environment. In one scene Freeman was shown standing on a hill with Steve Carell’s modern day Noah looking over a pristine valley. Freemans’ character remarked that this was how he remembered ‘creating’ it. So, I wondered…is God concerned about the environment? Are things like the Snail Darter, the California Condor, or the Blue Whale on the Divine top 10 list of things to be concerned with? I think that just maybe God is concerned. And if that is true, should we who claim to be followers of God be concerned also?
Many people who say that they are Christian tend to relegate environmental concerns somewhere behind social concerns, which are way behind spiritual concerns. Now, I don’t want to start an argument about perceived priorities, but it seems that throughout the Scriptures God is shown to be in love with the entire creation. At the end of the first chapter of the Bible, after God had finished the creative process, the writer stated that God saw that was made, and “Behold, it was very good.” It was all very good. Not just the humans in the garden. But, the earth and light and grass and fruit trees and all of the animals. Now, there are those that think that the earth and its resources were made for the benefit of mankind. After all, didn’t God tell the humans to subdue and rule overthe creation? The language in both the Hebrew text and the Septuagint gives the impression that the earth was wild and in need of governance. This has lead most scholars to say that the ‘feeling’ or idea of this text is not that humans should use the creation for personal gain and prosperity, but that we should be stewards of the creation, which ultimately belongs to God.
In the New Testament, Paul writing to the church at Rome, made an allusion to the entire creation groaning and anxiously awaiting the revealing of the sons of God. One person paraphrased this idea by saying that the creation was waiting for the sons of God to show up and fulfill their obligation to the creation. This idea is not without merit. God has always tended to use various ‘agents’ to get the divine plan moving. Perhaps, we who claim to be God-followers would be wise to get in step with that plan. Yes, getting the good news out to people is important. Caring for our fellow travelers on this planet is also important. However, I think that God’s love and justice calls for our commitment to work with God to care for the creation that God loves.

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