This morning I will be preaching on what it means to be stewards of God’s Creation. We, at St Paul’s UCC, will be reflecting upon Genesis 1 and 2, the stories of creation.
All spiritual traditions have creation stories. They are there to teach us about our humble beginnings, about how the Sacred brought all things into being. The creation stories serve as a reminder of Spirit’s instruction to us to be good stewards and custodians of what the Sacred created.
The issue with the Hebraic creation story, at least in the Christian translations of the Hebrew Bible, is the use of the word ‘dominion’ or ‘subdue.’ Most of the translations write:
“God blessed them (humanity), and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”
This translation many times is poorly interpreted as God creating all things to fulfill human needs. Therefore, we, as human, can use the resources Earth has as we chose. This is a wrongful interpretation.
Genesis chapter two is another telling of the Creation story. In this chapter we learn:
“The Lord God took the earth creature and put Adam in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the earth creature, “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.”
God create Adam (earth creature) to till the garden of Eden. God gave an instruction that humans could eat of the plants of the garden except for the Tree of Good and Evil. That was to be left alone.
What I find interesting here is that God’s job for humanity is to till, to care for, what God has created. Not to have dominion over it as humans see fit.
These two stories go hand in hand. Together, they bring an understanding of what is means to be stewards of Mother Earth and all God’s Creation.
This week we will dive deeply into this theme.
Stewardship of Mother Earth and all God’s Creation is about:
- caring for, not reaping what we want
- tending, healing creation, not taking away from
- when we need to use its resources, replenishing what we have used
- when we harvest, keeping some of our harvest to replant the next season
The imagery of being the gardener requires us to engage the stewardship of Mother Earth and Creation from a sustainability perspective, from a place of humble hard working, hands in the earth, partnership.
We have, as a culture, lost this understanding. Many take our earth for granted, ignoring her hurt and pain.
More and more of us are awakening to the need to truly care for Mother Earth and our resources. We are stepping into a theology of ecology and stewardship.
How are you being a steward of Mother Earth?
What in your life is preventing you from deepening your stewardship of God’s Creation?