Just recently I realized just how much God identifies with His creation. In Christ, God obviously identifies with us humans. After all, Jesus was conceived, born, had a human soul, a human body, a human mind. He ate, drank, slept, walked, became exhausted, had friends and a family. Even before His incarnation, He had a human sounding name, "The Son of Man."
God does not just identify with us humans. He also identifies with angels. In the Old Testament, Jesus was known as "The Angel of the Lord." It does not stop there. God also identifies with animals. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at His baptism in the form of a dove. Jesus is the "Lamb of God" and the "Lion of Judah." Looking at Jerusalem one day, Jesus said He wanted to gather the people of Jerusalem to Him like a "hen" gathering her chicks. He is a "worm", not a man during His trials and He is a "serpent" raised up during His crucifixion.
It does not end with the animal imagery. God identifies with all of creation. Jesus is the "rock of our salvation," "streams of living water," "the tree of Life," " a mountain, " and "heaven." The Holy Spirit is a "wind," "flame," "light," and "cloud."
I could go on and on, but you get the point. God created this world, the heavens above and everything in it out of an act of love. All creation exists at God's command and in fact, exists within God Himself. After all, before creation only God existed. After creation, there is no place outside of God. So all of creation is within God. This does not make everything God. We Christians are not pagan spiritualists, worshipping animals, trees and rocks. But it pays to see how much God loves His creation and how much He loves you. Our sin damaged His good creation, but God will not let us win. God the Son came into this world, became a man, died and rose to defeat sin and save us. He will come again together us into a new heaven and new earth where we will never sin again. If God loved His creation so much that He filled it with so much interesting stuff, what do you think the new earth will be like? I bet it will be fantastic and I look forward to seeing it. I hope you do too.
Pastor David Mohr
St. Matthew Lutheran Church-LCMS