Tuesday, July 03, 2007
reminders from psalm 104
geoff and i have been studying a brilliant mission text by christopher wright called "the mission of god." it is a sweeping work framing scripture, our understanding of god, the story of israel and creation with a missional hermeneutic. throughout the book, he weaves between the particular and the universal of god's mission. we've found it exceedingly helpful as we've worked with mary fisher through theological questions of mission and planned for our forge workshops on the environment and sustainability.
from genesis 1 & 2, wright reminds us that "creation is intrinsically good. god defines it, not humans. and that the goodness of creation is theologically and chronologically prior to human observation. all created order was divinely affirmed before humanity arrived on the scene."
then he goes on to quote a meditation from a guy on psalm 104 who notes how the poet’s celebration goes way beyond the earth’s provision for human need:
"God planted the cedars and other trees and waters them fully. Birds build nests in them. The stork is singled out in particular: God made fir trees for the storks to nest in, and he made storks to nest in the fir trees. He made high, inaccessible mountains for the wild goats to run and jump upon, and he made wild goats to do the jumping and cavorting. He created the vast expanse of rock-covered earth in eastern Jordan for rock badgers to live and play in, and he created rock badgers for the rocks. Storks and goats and badgers do not serve mankind. They do what is appropriate to them, and God provided a place that is itself fulfilling its function when it ministers to the needs of its special creatures. I know of no more direct word in the Bible about the independent significance of things and creatures on which man does not depend for life. The creative and powerful anthropocentrism of biblical religion is here beautifully qualified: God has interest in badgers and wild goats and storks for their own sakes. He has interest in trees and mountains and rock-cairns that simply serve non-human purposes.”