In Part 2-Hope for Humanity, Dr. Matthew Sleeth explores how tending and protecting the garden extends into everyday life. In these final six sessions, Dr. Sleeth outlines a more sustainable lifestyle, focusing on six key actions-Rest, Work, Give, Share, Teach, and Hope.
"Following Jesus is good for the planet. Or should be, at least. This is the radical, yet solidly biblical premise of Blessed Earth. This two-part film series and guidebook experience is a creative and compelling call for Christians to embrace sustainable living out of love for God, neighbor, and all of creation. In Part 2-Hope for Humanity, Dr. Matthew Sleeth examines how God's original command to "tend and protect the planet" extends into the actions and activities of our everyday lives.
In these final six sessions, Dr. Sleeth advocates a spiritually and environmentally sustainable lifestyle, focusing on six key actions-Rest, Work, Give, Share, Teach, and Hope. As members of the body of Christ, we serve as the hands and feet of God on the earth. The time to act is now. By imitating Jesus and following Him wholeheartedly, the church will become the strongest proponent for "saving the planet." And our care, compassion, and joyful generosity will breathe hope into a world longing for redemption.
Session 7: Rest On the seventh day God created rest and called it holy. Rest is a gift of God. The fourth commandment tells us to rest, to stop everything. Sounds nice, but how do we find rest in a 24/7 world? Sabbath is about restraint, about intentionally not doing everything all the time just because we can. The Sabbath is about letting go of the controls one day a week and letting God be God. Session 8: Work A majority of our life is spent at work. Work itself is a good thing; God created us to work and called us to be gardeners.
But what does it mean to be stewards of the earth at the office?
God is calling all of us to take better care of the planet. We must examine our work in light of the gifts we've been given and the biblical call to care for the earth. Session 9: Give When God gave His only son to die for us, He gave extravagantly. When we work hard for what we earn, we're faced with a choice: store up treasure for ourselves here on earth.or give it away. From the first stories of the Bible, it is clear God is not satisfied with mere leftovers. He wants our eager and generous hearts-it's good for us, for our neighbors, and for God's green earth. Session 10: Share In the early church, believers were meeting together for meals, sharing, worshipping, and providing for one another generously. And each day new members were added to their gatherings.
It's quite a picture-people who see church not as a building but as a way of life. As a society we long for community, so how did we get from that early church to today's status quo? Session 11: Teach Teaching what the Bible says about caring for the earth and all living things is both a responsibility and a privilege, but how do we do it? Jesus taught primarily by his example, even to the point of death on a cross for our sins. In doing so, he taught us something profound about time: what we do now-even the sacrifices we make-matter for generations to come. Session 12: Hope When Christians talk about "going green," they bring something unique to the discussion: hope.
Not just hope for a better future in heaven, but hope for today through the power of God's Holy Spirit at work in His Church. As believers in Christ, we are in the life business-life today, life tomorrow, and life the next day. Combine faith, hope, and love, and things get done. Change happens.
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Matthew Sleeth, MD, is the executive director of Blessed Earth, an educational nonprofit that inspires and equips Christians to become better stewards of the earth. Together with his wife, Nancy, and two children, he helps lead the growing creation care movement. www.blessedearth.org
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