The Love of The Land
An HOC Wisdom Reflection
With great love and delight especially during The Season of Creation, we are invited to look around all that is and savor The 13.8 Billion Year Old First Book of Revelation. As we contemplate, we are blessed to enjoy and gain wisdom from all of nature, both here on earth and throughout the universe! This week we are focusing on The Lands of Mother Earth, from mountains to hills, from plateaus to canyons and from valleys and basins. Let us consider the wonder of all the landscapes, from the powerful movements formed by tectonic plates underground to the very topsoil of which we depend upon. All these amazing land formations embody Divine Wisdom-Sophia as they encompass and maintain us in their embrace…
For in a beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Ruach pulsed, hovered and fluttered over the nest of her creation! And according to the first chapter of Genesis, when God gets around to bringing forth creatures, they will be made both female and male at the same time. Finally, humans are created both female and male simultaneously in the Divine Image. Therefore, whenever we use both feminine and masculine language for the Divine, we are not changing the original language but in fact we are restoring it.
From these first episodes in the bible, we can conclude that God ecstatically loves, delights in and dwells in all of creation both the inanimate and animate alike. Although Genesis 2 has often been used to reinforce privileging androcentric hierarchies, let’s consider what the original Hebrew word “ha’adam” actually means from that section. Ha’adam expresses that we humans are created from humus or soil. In other words, we are earthlings, created from the earth, the ground or the dirt.
For most of western history, these readings have been told from the lens of patriarchal structures that place humans above non-humans as well as men over women and children. With the help of the enlightenment later, these stories have been applied to reduce the rest of nature as simply for our human resources to use and exploit however we want. Conveniently, the rest of the world was no longer thought of as the Sacred place where God dwells! Interpreting Genesis in this traditional way has placed privileged men over the rest of creation… but… it is not the only way to understand these foundational texts.
Let’s have another look and rediscover that Genesis specifically names all of creation as good, as a matter of fact, very good. Therefore, placing humans over non-humans and men over women goes against the bedrock of Genesis!
Spotlighting for today, The Third Day of Creation, is where God says, “Let The Dry Land appear and it was called, earth! God created this inanimate earth and saw that it was good! Therefore, Land is in-on the continuously good acts of creation and not separate from them. For our example I emphasize the topsoil of earth. Recalling what I said previously, we humans were formed from this humus or the soil of the earth. I invite us to consider how valuable this topsoil is from which we are made and where we shall return. Meditate on this fact… The topsoil has all the nutrients that plants need to survive. Discern the prophetic wisdom found from combining this science and the Genesis writer. We humans come from this nutrient rich soil, just like the rest of the goodness of creation. Ponder this fact… For plants to grow well, good topsoil is essential!.. Horticulturalists will recommend that if our soil composition, has not been found ideal, the remedy will be to add more good nutrients. I propose from this factual organic insight that the same is true for our social relations both with the inanimate and animate of the earth alike. Earth grounds us in this most basic wisdom. According to the first chapter of Genesis and modern science, whatever we do to the earth including the inanimate, we do to ourselves. Remember that you come from the soil and onto the soil you shall return! The ground of the earth is both our mother that birthed us and our destiny which will finally receive us in her encompassing, grounding embrace… Amen.
Rev. Karen Kerrigan ARCWP FCM
The Huron, Rouge & Detroit Rivers and
The Great Lakes Watershed.
Grateful Member of St. Peter’s Peace &
Social Justice Community, Detroit.
Contributing Weaver Priest with
Heart of Compassion International Community (HOC)