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Creation in the Scriptures
The second story of creation in Genesis is very descriptive about what we are as humans: “The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground” (Genesis 2:7) – a divine blueprint but made out of mud. Yet even here there is wonder. The human body is flesh and blood; for the flesh to function it needs metals such as iron, chromium, manganese and molybdenum, which were formed in the furnaces of enormous stars before becoming part of us. And blood needs iron to carry the oxygen around our bodies, without which we die.
The garden of Eden is a reflection of the fertile oases in the hot desert lands where the first books of the Hebrew scriptures came from. Eden is a walled garden into which a river brings life and fertility (Genesis 2:10), and the task of the first couple is to “cultivate and care for it” (Genesis 2:15).
Even after Adam and Eve have fallen into sin, God restores the covenant in a way that includes all creation. God told Noah: “This [rainbow] is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all mortal creatures that are on earth” (Genesis 9:17).
Reading the biblical stories of creation fills us with gratitude and humility – feelings that are further reinforced by what science tells us. We now know that our planet and our place on it rest on fragile foundations. Our continued existence depends on a huge number of what science calls “cosmic coincidences” – the size of our sun, its distance from earth, the position of the huge planets Jupiter and Saturn working as shields to protect us from cosmic debris, the composition of earth’s fragile atmosphere, and a multitude of other vital physical ratios.
What the Church says...
The Bible gives us so many passages and points to reflect on the beauty and wonder of the world.
The Psalms are full of praise for God’s creation: “How wonderful are your works, O Lord, in wisdom you have made them all” (Psalm 104:24).
The prophets too see creation as praising God: “Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you, and all the trees of the countryside shall clap their hands” (Isaiah 55:12).
Paul is insistent that Jesus’ death and resurrection came about not just to free humans, but all creation as well (Ephesians 1:10).
And the very last book of the Bible portrays God’s final victory over sin and death in a new heaven and earth – not a new creation but this one restored by God (Revelation 21:5).
Care for our planet
We stand in a new place in history. For the first time in our existence, humans live with the possibility of destroying our planet, or at least making it a very uncomfortable place for people to live. Widespread pollution, creation of deserts, vast food and resource waste, and overheating our atmosphere are all the outcome of human greed and exploitation, to some extent. It is wrong for millions of people in poorer countries to be dying from famine and the degradation of their environment while diseases of affluence are leading causes of death in rich nations. God’s command to Adam and Eve to care for the garden is even more urgent today. We are called to do everything we can to protect our world because as Christians we should share in God’s vision for, and care of, our planet.
A prayer for our earth
All-powerful God, you are present in the whole universe and in the smallest of your creatures. You embrace with your tenderness all that exists. Pour out upon us the power of your love, that we may protect life and beauty. Fill us with peace, that we may live as brothers and sisters, harming no one.
O God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth, so precious in your eyes. Bring healing to our lives, that we may protect the world and not prey on it, that we may sow beauty, not pollution and destruction.
Touch the hearts of those who look only for gain at the expense of the poor and the earth. Teach us to discover the worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards your infinite light.
We thank you for being with us each day. Encourage us, we pray, in our struggle for justice, love and peace.
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Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.
This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.
This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.