During the cultural period of the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century, our attitude to creation changed. During that time, the scientific view developed of nature as a mere resource, animals as soulless mechanisms, and only humans as being capable of relationship with God. But this is not a biblical view.
The Bible teaches that God has a covenant relationship with the whole of
creation (see for example Genesis 9:16) and an intimate personal connection with all life (see Psalm 104:4, 21, 27–30).
In the New Testament we learn that the work of Jesus in his death on the
cross not only won salvation for humankind but also redeemed all creation from the bondage into which it had been subjected by human folly and sin (see our passages from Romans and Colossians above). The cross of Jesus now sits at the heart of creation, holding all things together in a living, holistic unity, with all things working together for good.
In his ministry on earth, Jesus identified himself as messiah in part by his
relationship with creation – his ability to calm the storm at a word, to make people’s bodies well at a touch or a word, to call people back from death, to walk on the water, and to multiply food. The earth is not a dead store cupboard of resources, or a kind of machine; it is alive and full of life, and all life responds to the God who called it into being with praise and adoration. As we are the people of God it is part of our calling to respect, cherish, and lovingly steward the living earth, which God has entrusted to our care. Just as Jesus did, we are to work for its health, peace, and well-being.
Creator God, source of all life, how glorious is your name in all the earth! We bless you for the beauty of sea and sky, for the wonderful provision of clean water, fruit and grain to eat, the intricate web of the ecosystem in strong yet fragile interdependence. You have thought of everything! Make us strong and wise to love you, Lord, in your creatures. May the majesty of the cloud forests, the teeming life of the oceans, and the industry of ants and bees be nurtured and protected by our way of life, and so may we honour and adore you, God who created all things. Amen.