Stewardship Ministries


Without a care in the world, there I was on the living room carpet planning for a better and brighter future. Life was good, I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go.  With my mind full of hope, the shapes, and colours of the Lego bricks in front of me tantalised my imagination.  I could see the size and colour of the house I was going to build.  It would have two doors, four windows, a sloping red roof, and a garden with a low fence around it.  Would it have a yellow or a blue door, a white fence, or green? 

The word ‘Lego’ comes from the Danish phrase ‘leg godt’, which means to ‘play well’.  I did just that, as millions of children still do today.  With 86 pieces for every person on earth, Lego continues to be the brilliant global brand, which encourages young minds to build a better world.

I think it was in the 1950s that the ‘injection-moulding’ of synthetic materials gained mass and affordable appeal. It was the revolutionary new and ultimate convenience material. Wood, leather, and stone were still around, but they didn’t excite like plastic.  Plastic introduced a spectrum of new shapes and colours in design.  It was time to experiment, and not just with the Lego brick.  By the 1970s furniture in all sorts of weird and wonderful shapes, sizes, and colours appeared.  Remember the bright orange plastic chairs in the church hall!

As seems so often the case, progress seems to create further problems.  We call it the law of unintended consequence.  It was never our intent for eight million tonnes of plastic waste to end up in the sea each year.  That’s bad news for the British fish-and-chip lover with a study from the University of Plymouth showing that plastic was found in a third of UK-caught fish.  A bit of a shame, that plastic in the food chain.

While I may be worried about the quality of my fish and chips, that’s small fry when it comes to what we’re really dealing with.  National Geographic reports in its July 2017 edition of a new and massive amount of plastic floating in the South Pacific Ocean, a million square miles in size.  Shampoo bottles, bags, and Styrofoam packaging make the beach look ugly, but it’s the abundance of microplastic particles that’s giving new cause for concern and the effect on the global eco-system.  The same edition reports that globally 91% of plastic never gets recycled.  

What to do?

In the end, it comes down to the choices we make, from the products we purchase and the way we dispose. Convenience draws me to purchase a new plastic water bottle from the store.  A slight change in behaviour will make me use the same bottle countless times.

To ‘play well’, is exactly what God did when He created our world with an imagination ‘higher than the highest human thought can reach’ (Education p. 18).  He made it with both skill and love and then He got personal and made us with a simple request to look after it. It’s one we struggle with.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
  Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.
 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?
 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honour.
 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
 all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
 O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

                                                                                                                                                                (Psalms 8:1-8 ESV)

Plastic in the marine environment

Plastic garbage patch bigger than Mexico found in Pacific

A whopping 91% of plastic isn't recycled

Photo credits:

First Things 1st is the monthly blog of the Stewardship Ministries Department of the Trans-European Division. The purpose is to restore and strengthen the principles of biblical stewardship, leading to a strong, mature, and joyful faith in Christ for those we serve.

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Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church
Herts AL1 3EY
St Albans, United Kingdom