As I delight – along with many – in the return of the birds from their southern
habitations, watching as Hooded Mergansers, Swans, Loons, geese and other
winged creatures make their way north, I can’t help but marvel and rejoice in the
diversity and wonder of life.
The Bible also marvels at this diversity. There have been many interpretations of
the story of Noah’s Ark. And as a Lutheran pastor I have heard many of them. For
instance, there is such a thing as sin, and there are consequences for sin….
However, there is one point that is surprisingly overlooked in the Noah’s Ark
story. The central affirmation, in story form, is that God cares about absolutely
everything! All creatures, great and small, why, God delights in them all. With
great care, every creature is led into the Ark, where they are tended to and
preserved for the future. The Holy One delights in all the creatures, and wants all
of them preserved, and not just Noah and his family.
This beloved story from the book of Genesis is not something that just happened
once upon a time. It reveals a truth about God. The God who we profess created
all things, also delights in all the creatures! God has not changed his mind about
how he delights in them. Therefore, not only people of faith, but all who delight
in the natural world also ought to heed God’s delight and work together to
preserve the diversity of life. Climate change threatens this diversity. So does
over-development, and pollution. May God grant us wisdom to follow in Noah’s
footsteps and preserve, cherish, and live in harmony with all God’s creatures. As
the song goes: “All God’s critters got a place in the choir.”
Pr. Dan Belgum