Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Ecosystem of God

While researching my sermon for this week, I came across a reference to the Kingdom of God as the, "culture of God."  This must have been working in the back of my mind, and as I read the description in Ezekiel of the Noble Cedar (a symbol for the Messiah), it occured to me, maybe the Kingdom of God is like an ecosystem, "Under [the noble cedar] every kind of bird will live; in the shade of its branches will nest winged creatures of every kind. (Ezekiel 17:23)."

Ecosystems are delicately balanced cultures of living creatures, animals and plants, that depend on each other and hold each other in check.  The introduction of a foreign species or the removal of a native species can cause an ecosystem to lose balance and begin denigrating.

This got me to thinking about God's coming reign as an ecosystem.  We might think of creation--the Garden of Eden--as a the perfect ecosystem in which humans, plants, and animals all lived in harmony with one another and in proper relationship to God.  This continues until an outside species--something foreign to God's perfect ecosystem is introduced--sin enters in, and the ecosystem spins out of control--death and destruction.

Suddenly, the world is in need of a new creation--a restored ecosystem.  In order to restore balance to the creation, something must change.  This was my read on the new and noble cedar.  A sprig is removed from the old cedar, and a new tree--a new ecosystem where every kind of bird will nest in the shade.

And so we, along with all of creation are indeed waiting for a new creation; a new ecosystem with restored balance and restored relationship with God.  For now, that ecosystem is but a sprig on a lofty mountain, but it will grow into the noble cedar such that all the trees of the field will know that Yahweh is God.

Let me know if any of you have thoughts on what it might mean to think of God's Kingdom as an Ecosystem that has lost balance and the balance is being restored.