Read Genesis 3:8-19
We had a perfect relationship with God but we broke it by disobeying God (“… when the women saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing for the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom she took some an ate it.”).
Like dominoes, the breaking of the rest of the relationships followed. our relationship with ourselves was broken when we became ashamed and hid from God (“… they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden”).
Then it was broken relationships with others (“.. the women you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it”).
Finally, our relationship with the land crumbled (“cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat it all the days of your life…”).
So here we are struggling to live under broken relationships that God intended to be “not broken”.
The Gospel, and by proxy, missions, is all about working to restore these relationships. Jesus provides the way to live as God intended us to live. Missionaries bring people back into right relationships with God, others, themselves…. and the land.
You don’t hear sermons about our relationship with the land very often, and you don’t find very many missions organizations or missions projects focused on it. In other words, we focus on the first three dominoes but the last one, we tend to leave toppled.
Broken relationships with the land and the rest of creation that God made cause of a lot of misery in the world today: climate disruption, pollution of air and water and soil, droughts, floods, sea level rise, lack of clean drinking water, and more.
That’s why as Christ followers and missions minded folks, we need to embrace the redemptive work of Christ on the cross for all of creation, not just human salvation. God intends to make all things new (Revelation 21), and we get to work towards that here and now.