Spaceship Earth … Or Not?
Over the last few weeks, I have been investing more time in Genesis 1 than I have in a while, thinking, reflecting, praying, preparing to preach. I love this aspect of my work as your pastor, because I think the Scriptures are so full of life and light, that God’s Word is, as Paul says, “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” So as I have been pondering Genesis 1 this time around, it has struck me just how remarkable the whole creation really is. God speaking, creating, filling, separating, naming, blessing, resting. And we as people are in the mix, in many ways the focal point, of creation, and the objects of his particular love. Marveling at this, David would say, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
Last week was Earth Day, an annual day of environmental activity and teaching. In 1971, the United Nations Secretary General, U Thant, made the following Earth Day proclamation:
May there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life.
Statements like this remind me that those who do not hold to the truth of Scripture and the marvel of a creation sustained by God’s providence are left with a worldview that is driven by fear and an unrealistic understanding of the sinfulness of man. Spaceship earth? Who is the captain of that ship? Peaceful and cheerful humanity? That’s not the humanity that exists.
As Christians, we understand that we have been given a great gift. God has blessed us with the earth to fill, subdue, rule over, enjoy. We ought not to treat that gift recklessly. But the gift is not all there is. There is a Giver, who ought to always be the focus of our attention, the One who not only made heavens and earth, but who has entered into our own hearts, driving out the darkness, and shining “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
As you read Genesis 1, as you look at the creation, as you marvel at it, consider with thanksgiving and praise the remarkable Creator, who not only made us, but has delivered us from the sin that had enslaved us, and has given us new life in Christ, not viewing us as a warm and fragile cargo spinning in space, but as His very own sons and daughters. Praise God!