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How Can I Keep from Singing (A Meditation)

​Genesis 1:26-2:9. Consider these two accounts of the creation of humanity. Listen to God declare creation “very good.” (Spiritual Exercises derived from this book)

Today being my day off, I get to spend time with the family. Usually on Wednesdays we visit the Kansas City Zoo and there is no better place in the city to reflect on God’s creation than the place where we can view so much of it. (though not in its natural habitat.) 

God created all thing. Calling it all good and at the end of this creative work God fashioned mankind out of the dust, breathed the breath of life into the nostrils, and placed man into a garden set aside to celebrate the greatest works of creation. 

I have though about this passage from many different perspectives. Having a degree in science I obviously look at this from that perspective seeing the creation as being a progressive work continually getting more complex and interesting. (Suggested book: Language of God). I also consider the passage from a more mystical perspective and I can see the amazing colors, adaptations, structures and behaviors as being the masterful work from the greatest artist. Each perspective takes my breath away.

But man was created for a special purpose. We were created in the image of God, to rule over the earth. And this God said was very good. I reflect on word dominion. We can see it as dominate or care, conquer or steward.  The way we reflect on this word says so much. Was creation “very good” as God claimed or do we as humans need to improve it? While I am aware we need improvements for ourselves, the natural world to me is amazing. (Song: How can I keep from singing)

What a delicate process. I think this is what the purpose of this poem really is about. How can we enjoy the very good of God while still improving our lives as a society. Everything we do has consequences and we must weigh these as we move into the future. 

I also reflect on that image if God within mankind. What exactly is this image? I honestly do not know for certain. Is it reason, is it the creative spirit? Yes and more. I think part of it is that we take pleasure in what is good. Which makes me consider Christ. God lived us so much that He took on human form to live with us. Because God wanted to redeem what was good but was corrupted. He wanted to restore us. Part of our dominion is to look at what we have done and redeem what is around us to restore it back to very good. 

That is why I love the zoo it shows us the unique balance of dominion. And gives us a way to help redeem. This is also why I love the church because both the conservation projects of the zoo and the church restore what is very good in the eyes of God.

About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.


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