We continue on through our Contemporary Testimony, "Our World Belongs to God", with par. 10:
7. Our world belongs to God—
not to us or earthly powers,
not to demons, fate, or chance.
The earth is the Lord’s.
8. In the beginning, God—
Father, Word, and Spirit—
called this world into being
out of nothing,
and gave it shape and order.
9. God formed sky, land, and sea;
stars above, moon and sun,
making a world of color, beauty, and variety—
a fitting home for plants and animals, and us—
a place to work and play,
worship and wonder,
love and laugh.
and gave us rest.
In the beginning
everything was very good.
[For the image of God, see Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10; and James 3:9.]
Even though yesterday’s paragraph 9 has such a positive tone, you can hear the hint of change at the end, the unspoken “but” when the realization of what has happened in the world comes into the picture. At this moment, Creation is enjoying a rest from us. The air, water and land (and their resident creatures) respond with gratitude. But we know the story of what we’ve done with it.
Unfortunately, in the Western world this has included a theology of neglect toward the earth. To put it succinctly, if the earth is just going to burn up, why not consume it now? The focus was just on “that humans may rule over” the earth. But that picture changes when you add in “image bearers.” Because we bear the image of God, we love what God loves, we think like God thinks, we create like God creates, we work on what God originates.
Image bearers plus earthkeepers. Now that is a noble identity! Beginning with creation. Extending to all of God’s good kingdom.
Marj shared a wonderful video on image bearing for your enjoyment and reflection.
As you continue to pray into this pandemic today, my prayer for you is that God lead you into new ways, appropriate for our times, of bearing his image in this world.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Our song today is an extended, remotely recorded version of the Aaronic blessing. Note, and praise God for, the unity of the UK church on this recording!
PS – Online office hours are 11-noon today and tomorrow, and also 1-2 tomorrow.
PSS – Please pray for Coffee Break as they meet remotely tomorrow for Bible Study.
PSSS – We acknowledge today our Mexican readers celebrating Cinco de Mayo, and Dutch readers celebrating Liberation Day. For the latter, Joe shared a link for Concert 75 jaar Bevrijding.