Did you miss this? I hope not. Eric’s lovely introduction to Planet Earth Sunday at DUCC.
“Let us make man[a] in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
This all too familiar passage from Genesis is in some ways at the root of our modern-day environmental crisis. In particular, the word “dominion” has become somewhat problematic. Webster’s dictionary defines dominion as “supreme authority” or “absolute control”. At this point in our history and culture, we have taken this charge quite literally, plundering the earth for its resources as if we are the “supreme authority”, and as a result, we are putting our own existence in peril. Something about our approach is not right.
If we could somehow see our actions outside of our own culture and context, perhaps we might understand our responsibility differently. Indigenous cultures throughout the world, those who have held on to primal teachings, have something to teach us. Native American cultures don’t share our story of dominion or even the language of stewardship – their story is of relationship with the Earth. In language and in practice, these cultures model more closely our own biblical example that God set forth in Genesis – Creator in loving relationship with Creation. Right stewardship flows from a loving relationship. And it is by remembering and rediscovering this love that we will find our way forward.
Today, on this first Sunday of Creation Season, we begin by celebrating “Planet Earth”. We open ourselves to learn from lava and trees, soil and water, moths and ravens, and all that our planet has to show us. We seek to learn the language of seasons and cycles, which makes us more attuned to the underlying rhythms of life, We hope to show the type of compassion that extends beyond all borders, beyond our species, to “all the ends of the earth” – compassion from a “God’s-eye view”. And we pray that this compassion results in action and justice for our common home, planet Earth. Please join me in our unison prayer.
–Eric LeJeune, Creation Justice Team, DUCC