Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Katie Snipes Lancaster
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God,
and God abides in them.
1 John 4:16
A Look at Joy
Celtic Christianity believes that God loves the non-human world. One of my grandsons once asked, “Does God love sharks?” In reflecting on John 3:16 “for God so loved the world,” the answer is unreservedly “yes.” Our separation and devaluation of the non-human world has led to our earth becoming what Pope Francis describes as a garbage dump. Whatever God creates, God loves, and God has patiently brought forth a world of variety and wonder, whose every creature, plant, wave, and rock formation reveals divine creative wisdom. We are surely not the only intelligent life on our planet: behold the chirping of dolphins, the songs of humpback whales, the pain elephants experience at the loss of their partner, the loyalty and love of a dog for their companion person, the patience and craftiness of the crow, and the gentle beauty of the blue whale swimming across the sea. Every cell is alive in wonder, and plants, trees, and water crystals respond to health or illness in their environments. Apart from human interest and financial profit, nature is good because it is God’s creation, beloved by its creator, who delights in its manifold wonder. Within the non-human world is both joy and suffering, and the desire, albeit at a different level than ours, for life in all its abundance.
(From Bruce Epperly, “Process Theology and Celtic Wisdom: Adventures in Ecological Spirituality”).
We hold the gentle beauty of this earth,
And with you, desire for it’ thriving.
Carry us into the possibility of deeply,
patiently loving the world anew.