Responsible consumption and productionOpen the SDG in Presentation mode
Biblical reflectionWhen God created man and woman, he told them to subdue the earth and “have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28). Some interpret this saying as a divine green light to exploit nature and consume its resources. This is obviously a misinterpretation; the right of disposal is given as integral part of the mandate to be good stewards of creation. The second narrative of creation, the one about the Garden of Eden, clearly affirms this view. God gives Adam the task to “till and keep” the garden (Genesis 2:15). To be created in God’s image implies communicating with God: God speaks to men and women and commissions them to take care of the gifts of creation; they respond through responsible action. However, humans are easily lured to self-centred consumption and irresponsible stewardship, as tells the story about the two in the Garden of Eden. The Bible contains many similar narratives, such as the one Jesus told about the rich farmer who thought that wealth and consumption was the certain way to a good life (Luke 12:13–21). That is a delusion, Jesus states, and he warns: “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”
- When the people of Israel received bread from the Lord in the desert, they were told to gather enough for that day (Exodus 16:15–20). Can this story teach us something about responsible consumption?
- Discuss what is meant by responsible production.
Is there anything you can do in your local community to help each other live more sustainably?
Lord, our good shepherd, Let us not want for anything, and show us what we have. Teach us to value our resources, Reuse and make what is old new again. We thank you for all your generous gifts. We commit everything and everyone, into your hands, Lord. Amen.