What Does Deuteronomy say about Creation?
Land, law, and love - these are the three main themes in the Book of Deuteronomy - getting to the land, the law to stay in the land, and the love between God and the Israelites, Israelites and God, and the Israelites and each other/others. One of the things the Israelites must do in order to show love for God and stay in the land is to do what God does - specifically, to execute justice for, and to love, the widow, the orphan and the resident alien (10:17-19). This list was not meant to be all-encompassing but rather representative of all of the people who would have been, and still are, considered vulnerable. One of the ways we can execute justice and love the vulnerable is in fact by taking care of the Earth.
As cited by Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si, as with most things, those who are most affected by climate change and the misuse of natural resources are the vulnerable (48). Consider the rising gas prices this summer, while not solely related to climate change (this time), with the depletion of those natural resources, one can only imagine gas prices will get higher, not lower. While those higher prices were nationwide and did affect everyone, the vulnerable were hurt the most, forced to choose between food (because of a rise in prices all around) and driving to work. Pope Francis specifically mentions other writings from Bishop’s Conferences that cite water pollution and the inability to purchase water, coastal towns affected by rising tides and the inability to go anywhere else, and much, much more.
The Earth herself can also claim a membership in the “club” of those who we might consider vulnerable, for she cannot take care of herself without our help. It is time that we execute justice for and love our Earth.
This is a social justice issue because it affects the most vulnerable in our society. It is a Christian problem because we who love God are asked to care for the vulnerable. Ecological justice must become a Christian problem.
So what are we to do? None of us can single-handedly solve this problem, it is true. But what Christian does something alone? We are meant to do things in community, together. We serve together. We pray together. We cry together. This is what a community does. So we must come together, first and foremost. Then, in America, we can write to our Congress people, our representatives. And we, ourselves, as a community, can begin to make changes to our lifestyles as well. It isn’t easy or simple but love and justice never are.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor and vulnerable, including the Earth (Laudauto Si, 49). Do we?
See our Instagram account for this and other Season of Creation posts and some great "how to start" tips from Jessica.