Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet…” vss. 5-6Psalm 8:5-9
Having acknowledged the insignificance of humanity in the whole scope of creation, the psalmist then makes the audacious claim that humans are close to divine and have been crowned with glory and honor. More than that, he says, they have been given dominion over all that God has made on the land, in the sea, and in the air. In saying this, the psalmist reflects the viewpoint of human beings from the very beginning. It’s a perspective that most folks continue to hold close to their hearts, and we can see it in the way we deal with the creatures of the earth, and even with other human beings. The problem is that domination is a horrible way to relate to this world and it doesn’t come close to what Jesus, the incarnate word of God, told his disciples. Speaking of the rulers of the Gentiles who lord it over others, he said, “It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant.” We are not called to be lords but servants, and that’s not only true in communities of faith, it’s also the way people of faith relate to the creation. We are the caretakers of the earth, and not its dominators–there is a difference!
Thought for the Day: How is dominion different from caretaking?