Creation myths abound in the ancient world, stories that explain how and why we came to be, our purpose, and our relationship with the earth, animals and each other. In Genesis 1, we find a beautiful poetic retelling of the birth of humanity, called good by the Creator five times in Genesis 1:10-22 and ‘very good’ in 1:31. The symbol for all of creation is a luscious garden of life, brimming with joy, possibility and abundance. What was the purpose given to the humans of this overflowing paradise? Many use the Genesis 1 story to argue that dominion over creation is our purpose, but looking at the second creation story, we see the purpose is to grow: to “till it and keep it.” If we look closely at the language, we find words that translate to guard, keep or preserve; not to use or dominate. We are invited to be co-creators, tending to all of creation.
To till and to keep recognizes that as co-creators, we “do not plunder and rape but [take] care and attention.” What would humanity’s relationship with the earth look like if we as Christians took the mandate from God to give back to the earth as it has given to us? How can we repair our relationship to the land and how we view ourselves interacting with creation to provide a more healthy understanding of God’s creation? What would it look like if Christians took the call to till, protect, and grow as an invitation to be active in the life of this good creation with our Great Creator?
“To Till and To Keep:
A Creation Story Retold”
Genesis 1:26; Genesis 2:15
“Repairing the Relationship”
“Co-Creators with the Great Creator”
Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by: Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding
Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us Into the Sacred
by: Victoria Loorz
A New Climate for Theology; Life Abundant; The Body
by: Sallie McFague
Understand the Bible’s Powerful Message for the Earth
The Green Bible
Where the Crawdads Sing
by: Delia Owens
“Church of the Wild”, April 20, 2022.
Another Name for Every Thing
“Environmental Awareness Rooted in
with Richard Rohr, April 4, 2020.
“Episode 1,060. Robin Wall Kimmerer-
The Intelligence of Plants”
with Krista Tippett, May 12, 2022.