In Genesis 1, God unfolds the universe, culminating with the creation of humanity. Every day opens up brand new movements of balance, form, rhythm, and order. It is musical. God gathers and separates opposites—day and night, sun and moon, earth and sky, sea and land— not in competition but in cooperation. It is a symphony, each instrument and moment with its particular and appropriate beauty and purpose.
The Creator’s final project before resting form his work is humanity. We—distinctly from all else—bear God’s image and likeness. We are given a special share of God’s own beauty, a reflection of his perfect light. This is our true and unique dignity.
We must remember, however, that the world exists before us. Part of our commission (to “be fruitful and multiply”) is even given to animals before us. We are gathered from the ground and given breath like every other living thing. This is the mystery: we exist in between dust and divinity. Our dominion is therefore not an exercise of oppressive control, as if it must be bent to our will. We “rule" the earth not from above, but from within. Creation is our dominion in that it is a home that God our Host prepares for us—a home that we also share with the same hospitality. We have been given stewardship. Bearing God’s image does not separate us from the world; it roots us in the world with the calling to care for and cultivate it.
All things are declared “good,” but when God surveys the whole, he beholds that it is “very good.” Everything has its own precious and particular participation in creation, but no one thing’s beauty and meaning can be detached from its place in the whole—not even humanity. Though we are bear the image of God, the place of our purpose is earth.
Pray through Genesis 1:1–2:3 (link here) with the goal of gaining perspective on our place and purpose within the whole symphony. Pause between each day and meditate on what was created and given form that day. Actually imagine them coming into existence. How are we connected with those things? What do those things communicate to us about their Creator? How do we live in peace, gratitude, responsibility, and harmony with our home?
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Tomorrow on the Daily Connection: Deeper Dive Podcast (The Beginning of Genesis)
About the Author
Nick Chambers is the Director of Spiritual Formation at Calvary UMC