14 June 2023

Our Planet: Seeing the bigger picture

Lyn Woods

Photo shows a herd of wildebeests. Picture: © 2023 Netflix, Inc.
Picture: © 2023 Netflix, Inc.

Lyn Woods explores Our Planet.

The second season of Our Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, is released on Netflix today, with a focus on migration and an invitation to ‘experience life’s extraordinary journeys’. The first season, which aired in 2019, addressed fundamental issues of conservation and humanity’s impact on the environment and climate change, affecting all living creatures.

At 97 years of age, Sir David has been challenging humankind’s selfish and destructive behaviour towards the planet for decades. He warns in the series that ‘the next 10 years are crucial in taking action to aid the recovery of our planet for future generations’. We know that those who are suffering the worst effects of climate change – often due to inequalities – are the ones who have caused the least harm to the environment.

Scripture reminds us that, as Christians, we are charged with the responsibility of caring for planet Earth and challenged by our holy Creator on this issue. How effectively are we listening and leading the way in caring for God’s creation?

Psalm 24:1 declares: ‘The Earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him’ (New Living Translation). Psalm 8:3–8 recognises that we are called to be good stewards of creation, including care for all living creatures. God placed us in a position of trust; he has given us wisdom and insight, and we have let him down. Humans are polluting the planet, causing climate change, destroying natural habitats, depleting valuable resources and wiping out whole species.

We are all aware of the damage being done and yet so many people choose to live in ignorance, believing that it only affects future generations or people in other countries. We may feel helpless in the enormity of the task, but through faith and in God’s strength we must be compassionate enough to act. If nothing else, we can take it to God in prayer.

Paul writes in Romans 8:22–26: ‘For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth, right up to the present time... The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words’ (NLT).

In Colossians 1:15–17, Paul reminds the Church: ‘Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation… He holds all creation together’ (NLT). When creation seems far from ‘together’, let us turn to the one who is supreme for wisdom, courage and strength to act.

Each season of Our Planet takes four years to produce. What will you do over the next four years to make a real difference to God’s precious creation? Will you be able to look back confidently and say that you acted with care and compassion, so that future generations around the world have the opportunity to experience life’s extraordinary journeys and have life in all its fullness as Christ intended?

Written by

A photo of Lyn Woods

Lyn Woods

Editorial Assistant

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