Blooming, I Mean Cultivating, Where Planted

Some things we talked about Sunday morning and this blog post got me thinking about Genesis 2. God placed Adam in the garden (a pre-fall garden) and gave him a task: till (or cultivate as it is sometimes translated) and keep. After the fall, God placed him outside the garden and told him to till.

At the end of the OT, in Malachi, we read that the people don’t really care about the things that God cares about. The prophet says that the people no longer serve (the same word in Genesis 2 for till) God or keep (same word as in Genesis 2) his charge.

It seems that regardless of where we are, we have been tasked with taking care of things that God has entrusted to us. And God has placed each of us in a particular culture so that we might cultivate it, add order to it—redeem it as Jake talks about in his blog post. And if we buy into the fact that everything does matter, then we must look at our surroundings, both physical and spiritual, material and immaterial, living and inanimate as part of what God would have us till to God’s glory. We really must not separate the sacred from the secular and try to order our lives that way.

But surely the neighbor’s marriage is more important than my yard needing mowing, right? Well, if we think it is an either/or, that is a false dichotomy. Both should be attended to with the same purpose: bringing order from chaos. Sure, when faced with a yard that needs mowing and an urgent phone call from the neighbor, I will choose the neighbor, but that doesn’t mean the yard is less important in its need for order and redemption.

And we must not forget that those mundane tasks require the power of the Spirit to order just as much as the neighbor’s marriage.


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