Today's reading: Psalms 103-104 (104-105)
"Oh LORD, how manifold are Thy works! In wisdom hast Thou made them all: the earth is full of Thy riches." Psalm 103/104:24
One of the earliest heresies that the Church encountered was that of Gnosticism. Among other heretical teachings, Gnosticism postulated a sharp divide between the spiritual, which they thought of as good, and the material, which they thought of as wholly evil. Any such ideas must be completely rejected. We can see from today's Psalm that God's creation is good. God Himself called creation good in Genesis, and reaffirmed the goodness of creation by the incarnation of His Son. Any idea that creation is not good comes from a dualism that is foreign to Orthodox teaching.
Situated in the midst of Lent as we are, the following quote from St. Maximos the Confessor is especially appropriate: “Nothing created by God is evil. It is not food that is evil but gluttony... not material things but avarice... It is only the misuse of things that is evil, not the things themselves.” Therefore, let us strive to keep in mind that God has created all things as good, and to remember, or to learn if necessary, the proper use of that which God has made.