As we walk the Lenten path together, at our shared worship on February 24th we are asked to ponder this concept: God created us to be in community with God’s creation. Here, as in other contexts, the word community indicates relationship.
What term would you use to describe your relationship with creation? Do you consider yourself a “lord of the earth”? A “steward of creation”? A “profiteer”? A “cosmic landlord” for the Almighty? One of “God’s property managers”? Perhaps something else?
If you were to write an autobiography of your relationship with creation, what would you say? Has it been a relationship with a friend or with a stranger? Do you have faith that the earth will provide for your needs or, since it has proved fickle at times, do you mistrust it?
Take a moment to recall your most significant experience of nature? Close your eyes and remember…….what it looked like……..how it sounded……how it smelled………. …what emotions you were feeling. How has that experience shaped your relationship with creation?
To be “in community with creation”, it helps to view ourselves as part of creation, not over it, not against it, not above it, not radically distant from it, but having inherent kinship with all of creation. The ancient Romans used the Latin term “piety” in a manner somewhat different from the more limited way we use it today. Piety referred to acting responsibly, with honor and reverence, toward someone or something that is, in any way, responsible for our existence or our well-being. The Romans treated the gods with piety, but also their parents and near relatives (filial piety), and their country. May we approach God’s creation with piety, treasuring our relationship/community with it, approaching it with the honor, reverence, and responsibility it deserves.
Gracious Creator, you fashioned us in your image in the midst of a world beyond our knowledge and understanding. Continue to weave us together in community with all created things, and deepen our awareness of the ways you connect us to the earth. May the Creator who fashions us together with all things, the Christ who leads us into a new beloved community, and the Spirit who holds us in the communion of saints, one God, bless us now and always. Amen.
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Thank you for your serious questions and leading us on to a better understanding of our relationship with all of God’s creation.
Excellent observations and insights. In the context of worship last night even more powerful!