In light of Good Seed Sunday (April 24, 2016), we at Tenth Church are taking a deeper look into how caring for nature aligns with our faith. Here, regular attendee Madeleine Irving, who works at the Vancouver Aquarium, shares about her own personal connection to God's creation.
I love the Ocean. It is my favourite place to be--the sound of waves lapping on the shore is relaxing, the coolness and saltiness of the water is refreshing, the life that it holds in its watery depths is astounding.
Can you think of any amazing memories that you have of the Ocean? Was it a seaside holiday, a romantic walk on the sand, an experience scuba diving? The Ocean is such a beautiful gift of God to us.
In my work, I have the privilege of looking at, learning about, and connecting people to the marvels of God's underwater creations every day. As the passage above states, God has made the sea and every living thing living in it, and He has declared it "good."
This is why it is concerning that the Ocean is increasingly threatened by pollution. This comes in many forms--microplastics, (such as tiny little plastic beads found in some facewash and toothpaste) chemicals and toxins, large pieces of marine debris and old fishing gear. This is one of the biggest threats to the life that God has created in the Ocean.
Microplastics are causing significant problems in the food chain, ending up in fish like salmon which are relied upon by over 200 different species for food. Chemicals and toxins are accumulating in large mammals' bodies, which can lead to death. Animals are eating plastics and starving to death. Old fishing gear is entangling them.
In this context, the efforts of people like Andy Sward (a regular attendee from Tenth East Van, who is running across BC to pick up garbage) are hugely encouraging. They also call all of us to action to protect the Ocean, just one aspect of God's amazing Creation. If you want to do your part too, here are some practical suggestions:
- Buy personal care products without microplastics in them
- Make sure that only rainwater goes down drains on the street
- Reduce plastic use--take reusable bags to the grocery store, use glass containers instead, or make sure you always have your reusable water bottle with you
- Use environmentally-friendly dish and laundry soaps.
- Use vinegar, baking soda and lemon to clean your house
In this way, we can all celebrate and protect the Ocean, one of God's beautiful gifts to us.
"So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
— Genesis 1:21