Caring for the Cosmos
June 2009: Energy Efficient Lighting
When Pastor Sue asked me to consider writing something about helping the environment, I was surprised, never having considered myself a green-minded person. Each week, I recycle plastics, metal, and paper, in accordance with a local ordinance. I also walk my children to school, but mainly out of fear of driving through Livingston traffic.
Later that day, I happened to learn, through a devotional reading, that in the familiar verse John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life," the Greek word "cosmos" was originally used for "world," suggesting God’s love encompasses not just the earth’s people, but all of its creatures and even the planet itself.
Learning that God holds the earth so dear led me to think about our role as Christians. Traditionally, churches have focused on serving others, especially those in need, but in light of God’s love for the entire cosmos, maybe he is also calling us to care for the planet, not just its inhabitants. According to Genesis 1:26, God granted humankind dominion over the earth and its creatures. Perhaps ruling responsibly includes considering the impact our lifestyles have on the environment, and possibly substituting earth-friendly alternatives for some of our actions.
Since old habits are hard to break, this charge presents a challenge. However, by starting small, I believe we can begin to take better care of God’s world. A possible first step involves switching to energy efficient lighting at home. Priced only slightly above regular bulbs, compact fluorescent lights last much longer than traditional ones, while burning only a fraction of the energy. Plus, the newer fluorescents no longer buzz, or take a while to illuminate. Though not at all handy around the house, I managed to recently replace some outdoor lights with fluorescent bulbs. In addition to helping the earth by reducing my energy consumption, I hope to lower my electric bill. Trusting that small contributions make a difference, I encourage others to join in, and to look to this space in the future for more simple steps that individuals can take in an effort to demonstrate our love for God and his world.
Copyright © 2009-2013 by Jennifer Kirsch. All Rights Reserved.