Humans have made terrible choices ever since the fall. Some would say that we dropped the ball. At times, it seems more like we threw the ball over the cliff and into an abyss. In Genesis 3, Moses recounts the story of Adam and Eve trying to enact their own plan and get rid of God’s rule over the earth. God started the earth and gave it to us. He gave us a basic list of responsibilities which included caring for all of creation and making sure that it did not revert back to complete chaos like it was before creation. When we decided to start taking control and opposed God’s goodness, a little bit of the chaos and struggle came back. It was no longer easy to grow food. Our greed turned into violence and oppression. Humans kept showing a tendency to take at all costs and if necessary destroy things to get what they want. All throughout the Bible and general human history we see this. Even today, war is waged, money is stolen, and human action is accelerating climate change all in the name of human development. We have not chosen to take care of the creation God told us to protect.
If you recall Genesis 1, you might remember that humanity was made in the image of God. These days the expression does not have much meaning, but to the people living in those days it meant that they were carrying the essence and purpose of God into this world. Kings of that era would erect images of themselves in the lands they owned or conquered. It was meant to remind the world of who was in charge and what the king’s plan for society was. We were made to carry the peace that God made us for and enact His plan here.
The question is what are we to decide. From the beginning God given us a choice between choosing life or choosing control. We chose control, but we were trying to control something we were ill-equipped to control using our own ineffective methods. We were not equipped for being in that sort of power. We were made for serving others in peace and love. God created a world that acts according to the rhythms that bring life. What humanity chose was a very deadly result. We chose to let might define what is right, and we wanted to say what was right. Although we did not create the world, we decide to be the masters of it and steal it from God.
Jump forward to Jesus. We all know He came to deliver us from this mistake. From His death and resurrection He showed us that the power hungry ways of control do not succeed. Even the threat of death is no longer effective in stopping someone. So we can be free to choose the way of life and peace. We can challenge the old ways and join the new way of Jesus. How do you stop a person who does not fear death? We have been given the way to have eternal life. This life shows that a better world is possible. We do not have to practice greed and show malice. That old way of life has done nothing but destroy the world. Jesus way shows how to build a better world. Faith in this Jesus will include us in this movement to reclaim a good earth. We get to still choose. Do we choose control over something that will turn on us and destroy everything, or do we choose life in Christ that will redeem all of creation?