Commentary
By Joe Kay 4-21-2017

There’s a misconception that creation is a done deal — that it is some grand project God polished off in six figurative days. And then, with nothing left to do, God called it a day and got some rest.

Nothing is further from the truth.

The seventh day was followed by the eighth day. And the second week. And month. And year. And now.

Creation is an ongoing act, and God isn’t doing it alone. Divine creativity is one of the things we share with our creator. It is woven into our DNA. We’re active participants in the continuing story of creation whether we like it or not.

It’s good to remind ourselves of that responsibility this weekend, and to spend some time thinking about what we are doing to the world that God entrusted into our care.

Are we treating all of creation as something sacred, or are we acting as though God’s handiwork doesn’t matter?

Many people don’t give it much thought. Some people try to justify destructive actions by insisting we have “dominion” over the earth and can do whatever we please. But having dominion doesn’t mean we have permission to abuse and misuse God’s sacred handiwork.

Giving us dominion gives us direct responsibility to care and protect. We’re expected to conserve our world, and all that’s in it.

The first creation story reminds us poetically that our creator loves diversity. It’s a reflection of the divine spirit. God doesn’t just make one type of anything, but many variations of everything, including us.

We need to be attentive to respecting, fostering, celebrating, and encouraging our great diversity.

The second creation story presents us with the wonderful image of human beings scooped from the earth. We’re not separate from the earth but made from it, which makes us one with it. To desecrate the earth is to desecrate ourselves as well.

The second creation story also reminds us that we’re joined intimately not only to the earth, but to each other. We are joined at the ribs, and we are animated by the same divine breath. We’re interdependent, bound together in a most intimate way.

All of God’s very good creation is interwoven, and we’re expected to nurture it. We are caretakers for creation and caregivers for one another. To trash either the earth or another person is the ultimate profanity.

In a familiar story, Noah is instructed to care not only for his human family, but all the animals on the arc.

And when the floods recede, God makes a covenant not only with humans but with the animals as well. We’re all in a covenantal relationship together.

That covenant remains intact today. We’re still on the arc called Earth, entrusted with caring for all of creation as extensions of God’s hands and heart.

So this weekend, let’s remember our responsibility and renew our commitment to one another and to all of creation. Let’s never think of God’s beautiful world as something we have a right to abuse or desecrate.

Let’s remember the divine directive to protect and conserve not only humanity, but nature and the environment as well. Caring for all of creation isn’t optional.

And let’s remember, too, that the earth’s bounty is for all. Nobody has a monopoly or a claim on any part of it. It’s a gift given freely to all of God’s creatures to share.

It’s the eighth day. What kind of world are we creating?

Joe Kay

Joe Kay is the associate minister at Nexus United Church of Christ, Butler County, Ohio. He also writes a weekly blog at https://joekay617.wordpress.com. His email address is listed on the blog, in case you care to contact him directly.

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