The other day as I was perusing my Facebook feed, I came across this image. It got me thinking. The news these days is fraught with stories of division. I’m not going to go into details because I am not an expert on any of the big issues of the day, but I do know that living in a divisive state is not what God wants. He wants us to live in harmony with him, each other and creation. This is the way he designed us to live. And we did, until that fateful day in the Garden of Eden.
In the Creation, God gave humans dominion over the earth and its non-human inhabitants. This does not mean that humans have absolute rights over the rest of creation. It means that we have a responsibility to the earth – to care for it. We have been created in the image of God with the ability to initiate transforming activity and changing the world for better or worse. From this point of view, it is easy to think of God as Creator and humans as creative. As created co-creators, we have an ethical obligation to help make this world a better place.
As Christians, we carry out Christ’s command to go and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the recitation of the ancient creeds, we profess our belief in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. When we Christians profess our faith in God, we are expressing our belief in the Trinitarian nature of God. It is God’s Trinitarian nature that reveals not only that God exists, but defines who God is and who God is for us. The Trinity is comprised of one divine being (ousia) in three persons (hypostases). These three “persons” are completely interconnected and inseparable, sharing fully in the divine works.
Understanding the intimate interconnectedness of the Trinity, the concept of missio dei (mission of God) includes a sense of “sent-ness.” Not only are believers a community of love, they are a community sent into the world to share in the work of creation. When we view the Holy Trinity in light of this theology, the human community should look and behave the same way the Trinity does: without distinctions based on race, socioeconomic status, gender, religious beliefs, etc.
We, as God’s created co-creators, face a variety of challenges: diversity (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and culture), technology along with science, the relationship between science and religion, and consumerism (our overwhelming need for material goods as well as our exploitation of natural resources.) All these challenges need to be addressed in light of God’s saving action. Unfortunately, Christianity (not even Lutherans as a denomination) does not speak with a singular voice on how to overcome intolerance, how to reconcile science and technology with religion, how to use our God-given resources wisely and overcome rampant consumerism. We as God’s children must address these issues in order to fulfill our call as God’s created co-creators.
Perhaps, we must simply focus on the idea that all human beings are created in the image of God (imago dei) and remember that God created the natural world and gave us the responsibility for caring for each other and the earth. When we keep these things in mind, we cannot help but seek to overcome our individual prejudices, acts of intolerance and abuse of each other and God’s creation.
God of all Creation, grant that we may carry out your will to care for one another and the earth. Give us the courage to speak up against injustice and act to make this world a better place. We thank you for all that you have given us especially your grace and mercy. Ignite in us the passion to share that same grace and mercy with others. Help us to stay true to your word and will. In the name of your Son, Jesus, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever, we pray. Amen
In His Love,