Having created order from chaos, formed the framework of the earth, shaped and set the plant and animal kingdom in motion the triune God embarks on the pinnacle of His creation.


PERSON: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him” Genesis 1.27

The Genesis passages description of human personhood for their contemporary times was radially counter cultural. In the Ancient Near East, kings and rulers reserved the title god’s image’ for themselves. Yahweh, in the Genesis creation passages refuses elitism, and presents a democratisation of this exclusive identity. The Genesis passages insist that each man, each woman, boy and girl is created as an image bearer. 

Human beings are made in His likeness so that we can stand in the priestly place between Creator and Creation. The very essence of what it means to be human, is to take our place in the created order, and to exercise His authority in our patch of His creation. 

The essence of our personhood is bound up with our place and our purpose.

PLACE: The Lord God planted a garden in Eden and there he put man who he had formed” Genesis 2.8

We are created in, and for a place. We often forget, that the Biblical story begins by placing the very essence of our humanity – rooted right back to its earthy origins, the context of creation and specific place. The Latin words humus’ (soil) and homo’ (human being come from the same root word. 

As we stand in our shared patch of His creation, Northern Ireland, our streets, towns, cities – the Public Square — we have been created and placed in a real time, real place garden. 

PURPOSE: The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden to work it, keep it, to take care of it. Genesis 2.15

The Hebrew word kabash, (Genesis 1.28) literally translated subdue’ can be understood as a call to make the earth useful, safe and for the benefit and enjoyment of all. Human persons were created to protect, sustain and extend the divine systems of life in their patch of creation. Our created purpose now, in our time and place is to cultivate our cultural context — to enable the flourishing of all under the rule and in the presence of God.

PERSONPLACEPURPOSE: WORSHIP

Captured in a few words, is the very first God:human interaction recorded for us in Scripture: God commands man to care for His creation — and man chooses to respond in intentional acts of obedience and worship. 

In this beautiful moment, Creator, creature and creation exist in perfect harmony and flourishing.

This is not how we normally think of worship – or glorifying God, but, we are reminded of the earthy context of our garden worship by Eugene Peterson:

If we as human beings are going to live as God originally intended, which is to the glory of God, we cannot do it abstractly or in general. We have to do it under the particularising conditions in which God works, namely: time and place.” 

PUBLICCONSULTATIONASWORSHIP?

In November/​December 2019, Northern Ireland — we reroot our lives of worship in our created personhood, our place and our purpose – as His co-rulers over the patch of creation in our time, in our place.

Public policy may not seem like a place in which to worship’?

We believe that Christian faith is a public truth, that the Church is a public gathering, and that we exist for the flourishing of all in our shared society. Rooting our worship back into in our created essence, created place and created purpose – we enter the Public Square where abortion legislation looms large — to respond, to influence, to protect and care for – and to subdue our patch of creation. 

Public Consultations may not be a familiar process to you?

The team in the Evangelical Alliance are here to encourage and resource you in a variety of ways to enter into the public consultations. 

We are asking for Church leaders to encourage and facilitate a space for Christians to take one hour – together with friends, family, with small group, with Church community to respond to these important questions. 

To help you, we are inviting church leaders to 2 events, (Newtownbreda Baptist, November 28, register for free or West Church Ballymena, December 5, register for free) where we will guide you through the process of the public consultations, and suggest ideas for a Christian response in mission and advocacy.

For more information contact Donna Jennings, Church and Missions Coordinator, d.​jennings@​eauk.​org.