Our spiritual traditions are a long and deep conversation about what it means to be human, how we understand the world and the nature of meaning. As we face the climate crisis, those traditions are not useful as a way to win arguments but as the means to ground our conversation.
When God began to create the heavens and the earth— the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters—God said, “Let there be light.” … God made the stars and two great lights: the larger light to rule over the day and the smaller light to rule over the night… and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was. — Genesis 1:1-2b, 16, 18 (CEB)
This not a story about humanity being in charge. Humanity is not cast as the top of the heap. This story begins earlier and goes somewhere else. It first focuses on the influence the sun and moon have on life and the rhythms they bring to time. Over the rest of Genesis 1, this set of connections is developed.
This story is woven of relationships between light and darkness; between air, land and water; between humanity, wildlife and plants. We are woven into a great fabric of relationships, the deep ecology of life that covers the earth and connects us with the stars. Whatever stories we and circumstances tell ourselves, we were never meant to be separate from the world around us. Gd revels in this connectedness, repeatedly exclaiming how good it is. Here, Gd is not praising one thing over another, light over darkness. Everywhere Gd turns, Gd finds that the rich interconnected whole is good and cries out in joy.