At the very beginning of biblical history, one thing is made clear: there is an inseparable connection between humans made by God in God’s image and the good earth which God has created.
In the Beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth.
Humans are charged with tilling and keeping the ground from which they were all made to which at the end of life they all return. Because all humans come into being in the same way, there is also an inseparable connection between each one of us. We may speak different languages, belong to different races and nations, and live lives shaped by different cultures, traditions, and beliefs. Nonetheless, we are bound inextricably to each other, just as we are bound inextricably to God’s good each which is our common home.
Pope Francis has written of these two inseparable connections:
A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings. It is clearly inconsistent to combat trafficking in endangered species while remaining completely indifferent to human trafficking, unconcerned about the poor, or undertaking to destroy another human being deemed unwanted. Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society.
Everything is connected. The profound truth expressed in those three words is not self-evident. Over the centuries humankind has again and again taken two steps forward and one step back on the long journey to understanding that everything is inseparably connected. The twentieth century has been described as the bloodiest in world history, torn by wars and ravaged by epidemics. Yet in the course of the century the United Nations came into being, with a current membership of more than 190 countries. The World Council of Churches has brought together parts of the Christian family long indifferent or actively hostile to one another. Deeply divisive issues of race and gender are being painfully, and in places reluctantly, addressed. Everything is connected.