The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring’ (Paul, Acts 17:24-28).
All this week we have been looking at the "Creation" section of, "Our World Belongs to God: A Contemporary Testimony". Today we conclude this section with paragraph 12.
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation
Paragraph 7 (April 30)
Our world belongs to God—not to us or earthly powers,
not to demons, fate, or chance. The earth is the Lord’s.
Paragraph 8 (May 1)
In the beginning, God—Father, Word, and Spirit—
called this world into being out of nothing,
and gave it shape and order.
Paragraph 9 (May 4)
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. God rested and gave us rest.
In the beginning everything was very good.
Paragraph 10 (May 5)
Made in God’s image
to live in loving communion with our Maker,
we are appointed earthkeepers and caretakers
to tend the earth, enjoy it, and love our neighbors.
God uses our skills for the unfolding and well-being of his world
so that creation and all who live in it may flourish.
Paragraph 11 (May 6)
Together, male and female, single and married,
young and old—every hue and variety of humanity—
we are called to represent God, for the Lord God made us all.
Life is God’s gift to us, and we are called to foster
the well-being of all the living, protecting from harm
the unborn and the weak, the poor and the vulnerable.
[For the providential care of God, see Isaiah 45:6-7, Matthew 6:25-34, and Luke 12:4-7.]
This Contemporary Testimony ends this section where it began: with the confident assurance that, indeed, our world belongs to God. Creation affirms God's faithfulness. We are not purposeless matter, but we are held lovingly in God's embrace. In a world that needs hope, we find our hope in the clear teaching that we are made in God's image, a very good part of his good creation.
History is unfolding under God's watchful care. God is for us, God is with us, God near to us. Our future is secure, for our world belongs to God.
Thanks to Bill vG for providing today's song, a classic! Mahalia Jackson's version of "He's God The Whole World In His Hands."
"God, we acknowledge your creative goodness and faithful presence. We thank you for the peace this gives us. We pray that all those suffering from illness, lonliness and fear due to COVID-19 might also find your presence and peace. Help us to share the confidence, meaning and hope that you have given to us in Jesus, with those who need to know it."
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.
Go with this blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.