Join us this Sunday as we give thanks and reflect on our place in God`s good world. Following are some `sound bites` on the theme.
`The Lord God took the adam and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.`
Till = work of farming.
Keep = serve the land and care for it.
‘To serve and protect’ would be a more accurate translation.
Old Testament scholar Terence Fretheim makes several observations about this mandate:
‘It would be good if we gave the language of stewardship a rest for a period of time and used instead, other language, for example that of partnership and/or servanthood….The language of stewardship implies our control and power over nature. We need to state as clearly as possible the nature of God’s own relationship to water and vegetation, a relationship that is prior to any creaturely relationship. And so we seek, most basically, to care for such creatures for God’s sake, and not simply for ourselves and our own well-being.`
`In the creation account of Genesis 1, the humans are the latecomers. Our welcoming committee included the plants, shrubs, and fruit trees of every kind. It included the sun and the moon and the stars. It included the porpoises, the salmon, and the whales, and winged birds of every kind. And then of course, there were the cows, made right before us, who stood around mooing while God laid us in the manger of the divine image, to have dominion over all our elders on this planet.` (Barbara Brown Taylor)
JOHN MUIR: ‘It is a great comfort … that vast multitudes of creatures, great and small and infinite in number, lived and had a good time in God’s love before man was created.’
Some medieval writers humorously suggested the usefulness of all God`s creatures for humanity. Fleas, they wrote, are useful for preventing oversleeping, while mice remind us not to be careless about leaving cheese lying around!
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.