“Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.”
Psalm 19:1, CEB
Lent is a season of repentance and preparation for renewal with God and God's purposes. Through the years of connecting with our Native American ministries, I have discerned that at the core of Native American spirituality is a deep reverence for the Creator and all that the Creator made: the earth, all forms of life, the rocks, the sky, the sun, the stars, the heavens. They bring a depth of understanding to the Christian faith that should evoke a sense of humility and guide our responsibility for the whole of creation.
Gerald Schroeder, physicist and theologian, in God According to God, echoed a thought I also gleaned from Francis Collins in The Language of God: The entire evolving universe is issuing from the mind/thought of God.
Franciscan friar Richard Rohr recently wrote that the first incarnation God made of God's self was not Jesus Christ but was in the very moment of creation of the universe, what the scientists call The Big Bang Theory. God not only created all that is; God also is incarnated in the whole universe.
That brings an interesting perspective to the question often voiced, "Are we alone in this universe?" God is everywhere and always present.
Theological ethicist H. Richard Niebuhr said, “The love of the Creator requires love of creation.” Doesn't that call for us to honor the Creator by preserving and conserving the Earth, using it wisely, as we rely on it to nourish us and succeeding generations of all life?
Will the heavens rejoice at how we honor the Creator?
The Rev. Russ Smith, a retired clergy member of the Illinois Great Rivers Conference, is a member of the IGRC Committee on Native American Ministries.