Read: Psalm 8
The psalmist shares his awe of God and creation with such beauty. Everyone reading this has, at some time, been inspired by the beauty and majesty of creation, at least I hope so. Likewise, we have all failed at times to appreciate the beauty of creation right before us. We take so much of creation for granted. This describes both the potential and pitfalls of human nature and perspective.
In Genesis 1:26 and 1:28, God gives “dominion” over creation to the human race. For many centuries we have taken this teaching and shaped creation to fit our needs and pleasures. Often we’ve used this authority unwisely – lead in gasoline and paint was harmful to us, fluorocarbons once eroded the critical ozone layer, NOX emissions from cars once caused acid rain and pristine mountain streams and lakes became barren of life. This list is unfortunately a long and growing one. Surely we still don’t know all the ways that we are harming our ecosystem, causing species to become extinct, and harming human health. God help us save the bees! Truly.
I’m not the first to name these concerns, or to take a second look at the role that God gave humans in creation, “In the beginning”. Many Bible scholars now point to God’s purpose in Genesis as creating humans to be caretakers of creation. It’s a valid interpretation of Genesis, and I think a truer one than the “dominion and domination” perspective. Biblically speaking, contrary to popular belief, being a gardener/farmer is the world’s oldest profession, and it’s a God-given calling or vocation. What would the world look like if we were to take our caregiver of creation role seriously, and be less prone toward an exploitive role toward creation?
When the Covid-19 virus pandemic closed things down, and there were far fewer air flights, factories operating, and automobiles running, the skies became noticeably brighter and smog dissipated. It was remarkable. If nuclear fusion is ever developed we may see an amazing change toward clean, unlimited energy. In the meantime how do we practice good, faithful stewardship of God’s wondrous creation? How can we express our love for God by being good stewards of what God has given to us and to future generations? I leave you to ponder this wise saying:
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Pastor Rob Nystrom