Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Read: Then God said, "Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them: male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; 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." God said, "See I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the air; and to everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food." And it was so. God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:26-31
Think About: Parts of these verses trouble me.
... fill the earth and subdue it ... Have dominion...
That sounds like we can do anything we want to the environment. God gave it to us. It's all there for us. Use it. However we want. Subdue. Dominate.
The words in Hebrew that we translate as "subdue" and "dominion" are not simple terms. There is certainly a concept of hierarchy, that humans have been given a higher role over nature and the creatures of nature. But within those Hebrew concepts are not simply power, but also responsibility.
These same verses also affirm that we are created in the image of God. Therefore, we are called to take the God's eye view of nature and the environment. God has called all His creation "Good". We are charged with the awesome responsibility to love creation as deeply as it is loved by the Creator. We are charged to care for the creation, just as God cares for the environment - and cares for us. God blessed us, and all of creation.
And God reminds us that the creation is also for all of the created. ...and to everything that has the breath of life, I have given... Part of that God-given responsibility is to care for God's creation so that it remains available, safe, clean and usable by the rest of creation.
This gives a whole different meaning to these verses. Rather than blind and unthinking use of the environment, we are called to think before we act. Is this how God views the environment? Does this action show the same love for creation that God has for creation?
Are we caring for the environment for what it is? The sacred creation of God.
Pray this Prayer: Dear God, help us see your creation through your eyes. Guide us and lead us to be your partner in the sustaining and redeeming of all of your precious creation. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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