Good morning! I hope this day finds you and your family well, and I want you to know that you are in my prayers daily during this difficult time.
I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below — as well as on the theology woven into “It is well with my soul.”
Genesis 2:4-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Another Account of the Creation
In the day that the Lord[a] God made the earth and the heavens, 5 when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; 6 but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— 7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground,[b] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Early in the book of Genesis at the beginning of the Bible there is the idea that human beings have a responsibility for the earth. In this second account of creation, it says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” In the first creation story, we have these words:
Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” (Genesis 1:26-28, Common English Bible)
Sometimes we humans have misunderstood the words “take charge” or, in the older translations, “have dominion over.” We have abused the concept by taking it to mean that we can do whatever we want to and with the earth and its bounty, rather than understanding it a stewardship of all that God has given us.
I encourage you to read the first two chapters of Genesis, remembering that it isn’t a science book, but the book of our faith to which we bring three important questions: Who is God? Who are we? and What is the relationship between God and us?
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster