“The Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo, from the Sistine Chapel. While our readings don’t refer explicitly to the creation story, both the letter of James and our reading from Mark imply the goodness of all things that God makes, and that existence itself is to be understood as a gift. Nothing that God has made is not good; nothing that God has made should be treated as unclean. And, above all, nothing that God has made should be considered or used as our possession. How then shall we live, amongst all these wonderful gifts from God? How shall we use these gifts, and how might we treat each other as gifts?

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