Genesis 1:26-31 Message
This week we have a bonus doodle as a friend of mine is running an eco theology sermon competition and I thought it would be fun to doodle on it..
It is unusual for me to include two versions of the reading I am looking at but it might surprise you to know, I often do read multiple versions of the reading before I start.. The bible was not written in English and I don’t beleive that one translator has it perfectly correct, but together we gain a better understanding.
I was talking to another friend this week about how we understand caring for our world from a biblical perspective, for me this reading in Genesis is the key. This reading provides both the reason for the trouble we are in and the hope for how things could be different. Let’s start with the trouble, if you look at the NIV version you can see it talks about God creating people to rule over creation and to subdue it. This is exactly what people are doing, they see that the earth and all that is in it, is ours to use and abuse as we please. If we were to simply look at these readings we are justified in just about everything we do to the world..
I suspect that when God talked to the author of these writings in a diffierent language to ours, God may have had something else in mind. I speak from a couple of experiences that have happened to me only this week where I had read something , as had others and we came up with a totally different understandings using exactly the same words. It was different because of the context of which we were coming from.
I am an ever hopeful person, I try very hard to see the best in people and it takes alot to go down before I remember that people can do some pretty horrible things as well as good. I wonder with this reading whether God was thinking the same thing.. “This mob we will make them just like us, we will give them the power to rule over and use this beautiful world just like we do. It will be fantastic.” I wonder whether God like I am, is bitterly disapointed when the hard ugliness of what human reality is, shows itself again as far less than that..
I am grateful for the grace that comes from Jesus entering the world, I feel like it is God’s honest reflection on humanity. Through Jesus entering the world, God says, I know you don’t get what you could really be, but I will continue to believe in that beautiful vision of the world and you in the hope you will become it.
Which brings me to the message, I think it gives a much better understanding of those words.. It begins by reminding us that we are made reflecting the very nature of God. What do you know of the nature of God, how does your humanity reflect this? For me whilst God is powerful beyond imagination, flinging stars into the heavens, God does not Lord it over us, but works with us, making the most of who we are and what we can be..
The next line is key for me.. So they can be responsible.. Responsible is a very different word to rule over. Responsible reminds us that we are to work to the benefit of both, not merely use the item for our own benefit. This is where I think we have it wrong, we have been so busy using our world, and life, for our own benefit we forgot that we are responsible to benefit both us and all of creation.
The vision God had for the world was a beatiful thing, all the things we are blessed with, to benefit us is amazing!! At the moment I can’t draw them without being saddened by the reality we are living in. Maybe it is time to really work on those little choices we make to make a big difference. Switch off light switches and technology when you don’t need it, remember your bags, recycle, pick up your veges without the packaging, take a cup to get your takeaway coffee. Maybe it is time we all put our voices together, to let the bigger organisations who are letting us get away with this, please help us to be the best of humanity we can be, set limits, curb greed.
As human beings God knew we had good days and bad days, and I think we need to be gracious with ourselves and each other, God is, but lets make sure we are not just using that as an excuse to not have a go. To have this vision that God has as a reality is a beautiful thing, but more than that our future depends on it.