The ancient pre-human earth has always fascinated me. During my week off from any sermon prep, I decided to visit a place I haven’t been to in several years. On Thursday (April 27th) I went to the fossil beds of the Ohio in Clarksville, IN. Now to be honest, Autumn and not Spring is the best time to go there. During Autumn, usually a dry season, more of the fossil beds are exposed. But anyway enough of the fossil beds were exposed to still make it a worthwhile visit.
These fossils at the Ohio Falls are estimated to have formed 390 million years ago. And they are also the largest amount of fossil beds from the Devonian Era in the world. I was humbled by the long history of the earth millions of years before the human species evolved from our hominid ancestors.
When we read the Genesis account of creation, whether we view it as a metaphorical story or a literal story, you might not realize there are two different creation stories that were composed by two different groups of Jewish scribes. The first which I assume is the oldest, is the first chapter of Genesis, followed by the other version, chapter two of Genesis. I want to concentrate on the first version. We humans often think of ourselves as Number One in God’s pecking order. But if you read Genesis chapter one, humans were the last of the living creatures that God created! And guess what? This coincides with scientific evolutionary history. Humans were the last of the animals to evolve during the millions of years of the evolutionary process.
Realizing this should cause all of us to reconsider our relationship with God’s creation. We are the newcomers on planet earth. We should have respect and not exploitation for all which came before us. That is the only way to become good stewards of all that God created long before the human species walked upon this blessed earth.
In closing I’d like to quote what Rebecca Solvit wrote for the Washington Post that I read in the Christian Century magazine: “The knowledge that we are not separate from Nature but dependent on it is already far more present now than it was a few decades ago.”
May God Bless All Of You. And have a very Happy May Day.