05 Mar

Text and image by Rick McVicar             


     I am beginning to see that religion is not just about the relationship between humans and God. It is about the relationship among God, humans and nature.             

        I now believe that you cannot unite with God without uniting with nature. For me, Jesus is the unifier. For you it might be someone else, such as Muhammed or Buddha. Whatever your faith, a connection with a higher being cannot be made without a connection to nature. 

       For the past couple of months, I have been writing about how Christian scripture, particularly the Gospel of Mark, relates to nature.   

     My work is giving me ideas about how a theology can be formed to help people cope with the climate crisis. It must be a theology that recognizes human action causing the crisis, grief over environmental losses and the need to stay motivated to take restorative action.   

     The central idea that is beginning to formulate in my work is a complete rejection of the traditional Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now I do believe that the Holy Bible, including the Hebrew scriptures, describes the elements of a trinity. In fact, I would argue that the Bible describes not just a trinity, but a triangle relationship fraught with the push and pull that is typical of romantic triangle relationships.             

     The true Trinity of the Bible is God, nature and humans.     ❤️💕        

     Early in the history of Israel, the Hebrews enter the land of Canaan, which is populated by adherents to nature religions. That begins a long-running, complicated relationship with nature for the Israelites.             

     The relationship is galvanized in the word “dominion.”👿

     God gives humans dominion over nature in Genesis 1:26. In that same verse, humans are set apart as bearing God’s “image.” No other creature is mentioned as displaying that honorable image.             

     However, this idea of dominion appears to be contradicted in Psalm 22:28. “Dominion belongs to the Lord.”             

          These two passages appear to point to a push-pull relationship among God, nature and humans. The relationship continues into the New Testament. For instance, I previously wrote about how Jesus tells stories of seeds growing in soil with sunlight, but neglects to speak about the necessity of rain.             

     Interestingly, Jesus quotes the beginning of Psalm 22 when he is on the cross, according to Mark 15:34. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”             

     Did Jesus mutter the entire Psalm when he was on the cross? Was he trying to restore the relationship among God, nature and humans when he died?             

     I would answer Yes. His death is not only salvation for humans, but for nature as well. Jesus is nailed on a cross made from a tree. His death and resurrection are intended to provide a way for us to unite with both God and nature.  

     As you reflect on how your beliefs may be related to nature, I hope you will have artful health.             

     Thanks to the New Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible, Zondervan, 1989.

A green and orange face.

                   "The Face of Nature" Click on image to go YouTube trance music video.

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