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Devotional: August 14, 2020

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them

        reflecting our nature

    So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,

        the birds in the air, the cattle,

    And, yes, Earth itself,

        and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”

    God created human beings;

        he created them godlike,

    Reflecting God’s nature.

        He created them male and female.

God blessed them:

        “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!

    Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,

        for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

Genesis 1: 26-28   The Message


The creation story in the Book of Genesis holds some important spiritual truths for all of us. Human beings are created rather late in the process.  However, they alone, among all of the creatures, are created in God’s image.  “Godlike… Reflecting God’s nature.”


From our very creation, we were made to worship God, and to try to imitate and reflect God’s qualities: love, creativity, and so many of the Lord’s other characteristics.


One way in which human beings are like God is in their incredible power, relative to other creatures. With the advent of the environmental movement, we have become acutely aware of our outsized impact upon planet earth, our earthly home.


Yet just like God, we are called to exercise our power in a responsible way. Earlier Biblical translations, written years or centuries before the Message, might use language like, “Subdue the earth.” As if total domination were the goal of all human beings.


Reflecting a more nuanced approach to our world, the Message uses the word “responsibility” to describe our relationship to this globe.  Rather than subjugation and domination, we are called to be responsible for, and to work with, this beautiful world: God’s creation.


It is also worth noting that our text emphasizes that “Reflecting God’s nature, He (God) created them male and female.” In a world which is sometimes polarized by issues of sexuality, it is worth noting that both sexes are created in the image of God. They are not created identical, but both females and males reflect the image of God our Creator. 


In these few verses, our Creator God gives us enormous responsibility, which extends to every creature, from the birds of the air, to the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the land, and responsibility for the earth itself.


Yet we are also given an incredible tool with which to manage and live up to the holy and blessed responsibility: we are created in the very image of God Himself! As we live in this world, may the Lord grant us wisdom as we make choices about how to care for, and to be responsible stewards of our Created world.


Prayer


Let us pray or sing today the lyrics to the song “God of Wonders”, as originally sung by the Christian group “Third Day”.


Lord of all creation

Of the water, earth and sky

The Heavens are Your Tabernacle

Glory to the Lord on high

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy

You are holy, holy

The universe declares Your majesty

You are holy, holy

Lord of Heaven and Earth

Lord of Heaven and Earth

Early in the morning

I will celebrate the light

And when I stumble into darkness

I will call Your name by night

God of wonders, beyond our galaxy

You are holy, holy

The universe declares Your majesty

You are holy, holy

Lord of Heaven and Earth

Lord of Heaven and Earth

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth

Hallelujah to the Lord of Heaven and earth…


Amen


PS.   Please join us for online worship on Sunday.  

We will celebrate the sacrament of communion, 

so I would encourage you to obtain bread and grape juice ahead of time. 

Scripture:    Matthew 14: 13- 21

Sermon:      God provides, even in deserted places:

                   What the Feeding of the 5,000 teaches us today


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