“Are you for us or against us?”
Increasingly people are choosing up sides, especially in these United States: conservative versus liberal, rich versus poor, right versus wrong, … Deciding issues becomes much easier when there are only two sides, when there is less opportunity for a nuanced approach.
The story of creation in the first chapter of Genesis offers an alternative possibility: harmony. Six times God consider what had just been made and had proclaimed it good: After creating light from chaos, after creating dry land from the waters, after calling forth vegetation from the land, after setting the stars in the sky, after calling forth fish and birds, and after making wild animals and livestock.
But after creating people in God’s own image, there is no such blessing. I perceive that God saw in humanity our propensity for knowing good and evil, not merely recognizing these extremes, but participating in both good and evil. Both John the elder (1 John 1:8) and the Apostle Paul (Romans 3:9-18) note that every person is capable of evil and sin.
Humanity apart from all of creation does not merit God’s particular blessing granted to stars, to plants, to fish, and to livestock. But when God looks at all of creation, how everything plays together, God sees the rich tapestry of creation, God hears the harmony of life: good and evil present in each person, and proclaims it very good.
Only in harmony can light have value with darkness, can water have value with dry land, can plains have value with mountains, can song have value with silence, can feast have value with famine, can caress have value with hurt.
When have you found harmony with people who rub you the wrong way?