Christians, Care, Creatures, and Creation

Christians, Care, Creatures, and Creation October 4, 2018
Blessing of the animals 2017

Creation and Trinity

A lot of Christian theology over the centuries has been focused, not without reason, on the God-human relationship. Jesus Christ was a human being, after all, so if Christianity confesses the human being Jesus as Messiah and Lord, it makes sense a lot of thought would be invested, a lot of words spilled, on understanding how it could possibly be the case that Jesus Christ was fully God AND fully human.

Lost in the shuffle, on the other hand, has sometimes been the understanding that since God is also creator of all things, and maintains all of creation through the life-giving presence of the Holy Spirit, that the Son of God, Jesus, as a part of creation through his humanity, illustrates God’s care for not just the human part of creation, but ALL of creation.

God’s Son had a genome, like other animals. God’s Son’s body was made out of water, and heavy metals from stars, and carbon, and all the stuff of life, which is the stuff of creation, and the stuff of us.

From a trinitarian perspective, this goes to show that all three members of the Trinity participate in the care of creation. God as creator. The Son as the Word through which the creation is spoken, and who inhabits creation itself bodily. And the Holy Spirit as the life-giving sustainer that keeps the whole creation going.

Falling into creation

Why am I telling you all of this on a Thursday afternoon in early October? Well, first of all, because perhaps in these fall days, as the leaves drop from the trees and return to the earth, the final produce comes in from the gardens, the pumpkins go out on the porches, we need to be reminded of how all of creation is a part of God’s original creativity.

And then also, in what are very difficult days for many, it’s good to hear that the Son shared bodily in our life, which means we are loved and cherished and kept in our very bodies. Nothing, nobody’s words, nobody’s actions, can ever erase this, that you are created by God, share life with his Son, and have the Holy Spirit present with you.

 

Feast of St. Francis

I also share it because this is the season annually when we observe St. Francis’s feast, and bless the animals.  St. Francis was a peculiar saint, unique in his relationship to creation and animals in particular. It’s said he preached to them. In art, it’s frequently shown how much the animals loved St. Francis in return.

And since St. Francis may be the saint closest to living the life of Jesus (or more radically, living even more spiritually than Jesus himself), we are reminded again of Christ’s own closeness to creation.

So take a deep breath. Remember that you are created and loved by God. Then join worship and the blessing of animals somewhere near you. If you haven’t, find the church near you that loves creation the way God loves creation. And creatures. And you.

 

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