"And the land shall enjoy its sabboth years as long as it it lies desolate, while you are in the land of you enemies; then the land shall rest and enjoy its sabboth years. As long as it lies desolate, it shall have the rest it did not have on your sabbaths, when you were living on it." Leviticus 34-36
This was part of todays readings from morning prayer. It kinda struck me off balance. The reading is talking about the devastation the children of Israel will receive if they do not follow the Laws.
Normally you get a bashing and thrashing of anger and desolation to the humans in the scriptures. Prior scriptures are absolutely terrifying.
However here the picture is quite different. It really makes you think.
Whatever creation theory you subscribe to or scientific one, one common theme is man came AFTER the creation of everything.
About a year ago I lead my book study group at church in a series of bible studies mixed with ecological issues based on the creation story. I think the members had a hard time of understanding some concepts of interdependence between us the the non human elements of the earth.
I had purchased one of those ecology pods put out by a company somehow attached to NASA. I always wanted one and figured give it a try.
It arrived with a piece of algae, 4 shrimp and very artistic spring of wood all sealed in a glass globe. The only requirements were light and good balance of warmth. That was it! Nothing to feed. It came with a magnet thingy to clean off the crud that builds up, but otherwise nothing else.
I brought it in to show the group, just how creation can survive without mans "help" and seemingly do well.
I think for some they thought there had to be a hole in it somewhere for me to feed the shrimp.
For me it is a powerful tool to show just how creation doesn't need man. At least to some extent. Yes in the globe there is human involvement, i.e. the stuff the shrimp live in and making of the globe. But it was very small.
The above scripture in way paraphrase this whole idea. Does man need creation? Does creation need man? Man messes up according to the scripture, so the land is going to reap the benefits of rest. No longer will it burn, be ripped apart for exploitation of minerals and riches. No longer over harvesting it. (Remember in the law the land was to lay unworked every 7 years)
I wonder where that scriptures stands today in our treatment of the laws given to us about the stewardship of creation?
For an update on my pod. Its still going strong after a year and 5 months. I keep hoping I'll get more shrimp. I will sometimes hit a period where they are molting and thing OMG they are dying. But its just the shell falling off. I do scrape off the crud from time to time. But besides giving me visual pleasure its thriving without any further help from me.