The other night Bill and I sat out in the dark on the back deck with only the glow of a citronella candle and just quietly stared up at the night sky, listening to the sounds around us. As I stared at the night sky, I felt very much like the Psalmist from our scriptures this morning. I was amazed that with all of our scientific knowledge, which I love to read articles on, that feeling of holiness and awe that cuts to the core of the soul has not changed in thousands of years and I would argue since the beginnings of humanity.
I have been fascinated with space since I was a little girl. I always say that as a very young child I wanted to be an astronaut. Only problem is that I struggle with simple arithmetic and in science I was encouraged not to continue after chemistry. Math and science never were my strengths. When you look at the night sky you come face to face with the creative powers and wonders of the Lord. We don’t need skills in science and math to experience that. We come face to face with the thought and care that went into the creation of all that is. As I stared up at the sky I was reminded that I am so small and so insignificant in the grand scheme of this large and wondrous universe. And all at once I was overcome with loneliness and awe that can get quite overwhelming. I was reminded just what a miracle it is that God thought to even create humanity and the world around us in this large and overwhelming universe he created. Karl Barth wrote, “The miracle is not that there is a God. The miracle is that there is a world”. When we look at our creation story from Genesis we see just how much thought and care went into each act of creation. We see how God took his time in creation, creating no more than two aspects of the world and universe each day.
God took his time, just as an artist takes their time in the creation of each piece of art. God created each creature, beast, and humanity with the ability to continue his acts of creation with each generation. The fact that each generation brings forth new beautiful children is a reminder of the glory of God and the thought and care he put into creating us. The love we feel for these little ones is a reminder of the love that God feels for all of humanity as a parent, as our creator, he put his heart into us when we were brought forth into existence. This is what inspires awe. In the grand scheme of things, we each might feel very small and maybe a bit insignificant. But to God each life matters, each of us holds a special role, and place in God’s great plans.
Our scriptures from Genesis were meant to show us the love and care of our God. A love and care that did not end with our creation, but a love that continued on as God thought for our needs seen in the creation of the Sabbath rest and the way he has watched over each generation of humanity guiding us when needed, comforting us when we hurt, providing new beginnings and care when illness and tragedy strikes, and reminding us of his presence in the faces of humanity, in the revealing nature of the cosmos around us.
So know that we did not come into this world to fight and cause harm, though much of history focuses on that. No we were created by God to care for and nurture the world around us and those who find themselves in times of trial. Genesis says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’”.God loved us enough to create us, to build in time for self care, to provide us with access to food, and later he would send Jesus to our world to remind us of our purpose and our charge. The charge he left with the very first people to care for the world and all those who dwell in it.
I believe we need reminding that we have been given a special purpose to care for and love others in this world. To give our fellow people hope for a better tomorrow, a reminder of the joy and peace that God offers to the world. Remember we were formed in love, carefully molded by God, given all that we need to be successful, happy, and well adjusted in the world around us. Yet humanity has distorted that to mean control and to make power plays that cause pain and loss. Our only mission is to remember God’s love and to live our lives with that same love, putting love first in our hearts whenever we care for the world. We are called to be good stewards of this earth, of world, and of humanity. So go forth into the coming week and reach out to those in need, care for the beauty around you, and in the process see God revealed to you. Live your lives as the Psalmist from this morning constantly working to answer his questions, “When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast established; what is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? The works of humanity is how God makes his presence known. Just as you see the glorious works of his hands in nature, see the glorious works he has made in us and live into the love that invokes, more fully with each new day.
 Karl Barth, 20th Century Theologian.
 Genesis 1: 27-28, RSV.
 Psalm 8: 3-4, RSV.
(based on Psalm 8 and Genesis 1:1-2:4)