About a month ago, my husband and I moved across the state. All new community, all new church, all new friends. What a perfect time to start something new, like blogging! So in celebration of new beginnings, a post on “in the beginning.”
The creation story.
What a beautiful illustration of God’s creativity, love, and power. Genesis tells us that God spoke into the chaos and brought order. God formed the lights in the sky and separated the water from the dry land.
God molded the laws of physics. God meticulously crafted atoms: protons, electrons, neutrons–even quarks. God created light as both a particle and a wave. God caused gravity to happen, God created color, God spoke the water cycle into being. God said, “Bang!” and the universe began to expand.
And God called it good. All of it. Dirt, bugs, the stars, colors, sloths, meteors, cacti. All of this is good.
I’m a firm believer in faith informing our actions. So if we as Christians truly believe that all of creation is good, how should that influence how we treat the earth? How we conserve our resources? What about the animals? Our air, forests, and water?
Environmentalism isn’t some liberal agenda–environmentalism is being good stewards of creation. Ecology is actually at the heart of faith – but it’s something that we Christians don’t want to talk about much since it’s so politically divisive. But God has something to say about it–the universe is good, and we are called to care for it while we are here. We aren’t going to be swept away someday into another dimension and leave behind the earth and let that be that. This is our home. This is God’s creation, and we were created to live within it. So whether you believe global warming is a thing or not (it is a thing, by the way), if you’re a Christian, you are called to live differently and to care for the stuff around you. Recycle. Conserve water. Don’t waste food. Compost. Plant a tree. Call for animals – and people – to be treated humanely.
I had already started writing this post when I found this gem on my newsfeed:
The McCarty Dairy Farm in Rexford, KS, has taken great strides toward water conservation and sustainability in a way that honors creation while maintaining their livelihood. I’m proud to say the McCartys are friends of mine, and I can tell you that they truly do care. Not only is their farm named Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability by the Innovation Center for US Dairy, they also provide free yogurt made from their milk to kids in public schools in the region. Y’all. They care about creation AND people.
And then God breathed life into humans differently than any other part of creation. We humans were created by God, in God’s image, with God’s very breath of life in us.
Every human being has the fingerprints of God on her or him. Every single one. Your neighbor. Your child. Those kids at school that only get fed at lunchtime. That one person that really gets on your nerves. A child caught in the crossfire between Israel and Palestine. The one who pulls the trigger. The immigrants we’re turning away. Black humans. Police officers. Conservatives and liberals and anyone in between. CEOs and the unemployed. Any human being. Everyone.
So if we believe that humans bear the image of God, how should that influence how we treat people? Who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect if every human being has sacred worth, and if each of us has God’s breath inside us that brings us to life (the answer is everyone, just in case I didn’t make it clear enough)?
It’s a lot easier to love someone when you see the spark of God in him or her. And you have that same spark, that same star-stuff. You have the most important thing in common with the person most different from you in the entire world.
What would the world look like if we remembered that?