Let There Be Light!
Then God said, ‘Let there be light… Genesis 1:2
When we read, or hear the powerful poetic images describing God’s creative acts in Genesis, we see a clear difference between God’s actions in his creation of the world and his creation of man. When he created the night and the day, the earth and the sea, and all the living things, he did so by speaking a word and they came into being. In that sense, all of creation is special and must be treated with holy honor and respect. But when God made man, it was with his own hands. It was a tactile, intimate gesture of personal love. When he finished “molding the clay” he breathed his ruah, his Holy Spirit, his own image and likeness, into that clay vessel and it became man. When he knits each one of us together in our mother’s wombs, that same intimate act of love is repeated. There is nothing more special or important than our individual lives. How, then, do we honor God’s creation and our lives before God?
We honor creation by “stewarding” it recognizing our responsibilities toward its health and well-being. We care for it and
nurture it. We do not abuse it, or use it solely for our own self-aggrandizement. We understand our inter-dependent relationship to
it. Rather than claiming it as our own and using it for our own benefit alone, we conserve it, recognize that it is God’s gift to us to be
stewarded, cared for and made better.
We honor and respect our lives by treating our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. We do not damage them by excesses of any kind. We honor the gift of our intelligence by studying the word of God and all of the human knowledge that is rooted in the good, the true, and the beautiful in the world, and by creating things of beauty. We honor our eternal souls by learning and practicing the virtues of moral character to the point of habit. It is in doing all of these things that we honor God’s creation and all of the personal and unique gifts he has given to us.
Yes, of course, we must make a living, care for our families, pay our bills, and do our duties in our working lives. And we must do all of these things well, always thinking and acting in accord with the good we have come to know in and through our faith in God. But these are not the most important things. We honor all of creation and the generous gift of life that God has given us best—by knowing, loving and serving God in this world. In living this way we will be able to enjoy being with him in heaven, forever. We are “forever” beings, not just finite
conglomerations of cells, as some would have us think today. We were made for eternity and this life is the journey that we must take to get
to that heavenly place.