Creation has value in itself
Earth Day is April 22 and that reminded me of a post by Fr. Ron Rolheiser (thanks, Cura) - The Resurrection of Jesus and Physical Creation. Here's part of the post ....
[...] Christ came to save the world, not just the people living in it. We see the deep proof of this in the resurrection. Jesus was raised from death to life. A dead body was resurrected and that, clearly, has a dimension that goes beyond the mere psychological and spiritual. There is something radically physical in the resurrection. Simply put, when a dead body is raised to new life the physical structure of the universe is being altered, atoms and molecules are being rearranged. Thus, Jesus' resurrection is about more than simply new hope being born inside of human consciousness. It is also about a change in our planet.
Granted, the resurrection is about human hope. Without belief in the resurrection there is no horizon and no promise beyond the asphyxiating confines of this life. The resurrection opens us to possibilities beyond this life. It gives us a meta-future. But it gives a meta-future to the world, our planet, as well. Christ came to save the earth, not just those of us who live on it, and his resurrection is also about the future of this planet.
The earth too needs saving. How? From what? For what?
If we take scripture seriously, we see that the earth is not just a stage upon which human beings get to work and play, something that has value only in relationship to us. Like humanity, it too is God's work of art, God's child. Indeed it is the matrix, the mother, the womb, from which we all spring. Ultimately we, human persons, are only that part of God's creation that has become self-conscious and we do not stand apart from the earth and it does not exist simply for our benefit, like a stage for the actor, to be abandoned once the play is over. Physical creation has value in itself, independent of us.
Scripture challenges us to recognize this, and not just so that we can insure ourselves a continued supply of air, water, and food by better save-guarding the integrity of creation. Scripture asks us to recognize the intrinsic value of the earth itself. It has value in itself, apart from us, and it is destined to share eternity with us. It too will go to heaven .....