“Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And it was so…. And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.’ And it was so…. And God saw that it was good.”
Genesis 1 is a beautiful poem about the creation of the earth and all that lives here. The poem describes God’s creation as good and full of life. The earth and the waters are actors in the poem. The earth and the waters are living beings who bring forth and sustain life. Instead of God bringing forth plants and creatures, God invites the earth and the waters to do that. All of the plants and creatures listed in this poem have the ability to reproduce. What is created are systems of life that are interdependent and have the ability to self-propagate. When humans are created, they are tasked with being stewards of these beautiful systems of life.
God’s amazing systems of life are in crisis today. There are too many to count. I want to highlight one that we can help with at this time of year: our pollinators. Many of our pollinators’ habitats are disappearing. But we can create habitats in our gardens to give them a home to survive the winter. They like to winter-over in the empty stems of our perennials and in the leaves collecting in our yards. We can give them a winter-friendly place to live, by leaving our perennial stalks in place and putting our leaves in our gardens, instead of on the curb. In the spring, when the temperature is consistently above 10, then we can remove these winter homes from our gardens as our pollinators will have woken up and begun their spring work.
As stewards of God’s systems of life, human beings have the capacity to empower life to thrive, from the soil to the waters to all the creatures on this good earth. Let us imitate our Creator God and do all we can to support God’s systems of life.
Grace and peace,