Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


I couldn't help but notice the beauty of the flowers and tree buds while walking across town this-afternoon; there was even a small pollinating insect resting on one of them (see if you can spot it in the pictures below 😉) It causes me to reflect on these words of Jesus:

"Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work of make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, God will certainly care for you." (Matthew 6:28-30)

In addition to these words of Jesus, I'm also thinking of one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Genesis chapter 1. One of the truths that a person can take away from Genesis chapter 1 (which by the way is not historical or scientific fact, but more in keeping with the literary genre of poetic story) is that God is the creator of all of life in its many diverse forms, and that there is something inherently good about every living thing because the Spirit of God makes it good.  Human beings are part of this diverse community of life and because of that there is something inherently good about us too.

As I'm reflecting upon the creation story from Genesis 1 and these words of Jesus from the Gospel according to Matthew the word that I keep thinking about is "belonging." Every member of the diverse community of life belongs. Community itself is about belonging. In a very real sense, all members of this diverse community of life belongs to each other, and we all belong to God who loves that which God has created.

I encourage you to take a look in the mirror or take a look at your hands or your feet and just rest in this truth; the Spirit of God has made you good; and you belong to this diverse community of life. You belong to this community of life which God has made through the most creative love. You are loved by our Creator, as am I. Let us rest in and revel in that truth.

Now take a look around you; notice the people nearby; notice trees and flowers, birds, squirrels, and other diverse forms of life. How are the ways you relate to these and many others informed by this truth that each of these is loved by God as we are loved by God.

Recalling that part of what Jesus calls the greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself," let us pray today that we might be given eyes to see each member of this diverse community of life as God sees each; and may this change which God brings about within us be reflected in our living, in all the ways we relate to each other and everything else that has life, treating each as a neighbor in this most diverse community on planet earth, in Jesus' name.

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