In our consumptive society, we are programmed to have a voracious (but conservative) appetite for “things”; however, the counter-voices that motivate us to be good stewards (wise-caretakers) of our environment from which all “things” come are far less prominent. Why? One reason is that wise care-taking does not satiate the gnawing hunger created by consumptive desire: we just can’t get enough of that good-time stuff.

With regard to Scripture and what its messages admonish us to “do” toward care-taking are these (and more): to love one another (John 13:34), to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18), and to be shalom-makers (Matthew 5:9).

Perhaps we consumers are the oppressed; yet, who will set us free so that we can truly love one another and fully participate in holistic care-taking as shalom-makers? What do you think? What will you do?

A strong thread of shalom-making is caring for the earth (creation) for which all humanity is responsible. For a well-researched and developed discussion of “shalom” and “shalom-making”, see Robert C. Linthicum’s The Shalom Community: The Thread That Ties the Bible Together: http://www.piut.org/papers.htm.

And, for a good article and additional resources on caring for the garden (earth) in which we live and for which we simply “must” care, see the winter 2009 issue of Divinity: http://www.divinity.duke.edu/publications/2009.01/features/feature5/index.htm.

Finally, this 2007 statement of support for environmental stewardship by an array of evangelical leaders and scientists is a testament to broad support of wise care-taking as a necessary component of responsible consumption: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/343/letter.pdf.