When we think about creation, we often think about anything and everything in nature but humanity. This oversight causes us to miss one of God’s greatest gifts to us. We are a creation. Like a piece of pottery or a master work of art, God loving worked to create us. What a beautiful truth! The one who created the universe also made us. That’s special in an of itself. However, we are not just another piece of the created order. God created us for a unique purpose. We are God’s representatives in the world.
Like the signature on a master work, without us the work of creation is incomplete. But this does not mean we become the most important part of creation. Instead, we become the mark that bears witness to the one who creates. And so, the question is, what kind of witnesses will we be? Will we seek to dominate the creation like an oppressive tyrant? Will we plunder creation for our economic greed or thirst for glory? Or will we demonstrate the existence of the true God, the one who created us for love and service?
Though we bear God’s image, we are also dust. The ground we walk on is the same as the feet that trod upon it. We depend on the water, produce, and animals it provides. Without the world, we are just a signature, not the whole masterpiece. Thus our work to care for and ensure the longevity of this planet is both our pragmatic and divine purpose. Gifted by God with creation (ours and the universe’s), we are called to re-gift it to those still to come.