In the beginning | Genesis 1:1-8
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. Genesis 1:1-8 | ESV
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3 | ESV
Creation. It’s the starting point of Genesis, the first of four pivotal, world-changing, earth-shaking and shaping events narrated in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Creation is such a crucial, DNA defining story on so many levels that Genesis tells it twice, each telling providing us with its own unique vantage point. Both tellings are less concerned with what we would call methodology and mechanics than with the fundamental reality summarized as the first example of faith in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews: the universe was created by the word of God so that what is seen wasn’t made out of what is visible. It’s so easy for us to get mired in scientific debates over processes and timelines as we compare the two-fold Genesis story with our culture’s current evolutionary tale – debates which can become a diversionary black hole, sucking all the life and light out of what the telling in Genesis has to tell us. Genesis wasn’t written to combat modern evolutionary theories. It was actually a story first told against a backdrop of pagan stories of creation that imagined a cosmic battle between a hero god and a mythic beast of chaos and disorder that saw the universe as born in blood and violence, and humanity as little more than insignificant, bit-playing slaves. Genesis provides a radically different stage; a stage that shows us an earth that has incredible value and purpose, and that invests humanity on that earth with a dignity bordering on royalty – which was quite a shocking revelation to the disorganized multitude of nobody slaves coming out of Egyptian bondage who first heard it. It can still shock us now, if we’ll let it.
What shocks/amazes/startles you as you hear the creation story with fresh ears? Why?
Lord, transform Genesis, for just a moment, from being a cultural and religious battleground, to being a place of wonder where I behold your movements, your grace, your creative energies which are still active in a world that still seems far too prone to darkness and chaos. Once again cause your light to shine out of darkness. Through Jesus.
For all of this week’s resources for this new series on Spiritual Disciplines including this week’s DG video, check out the Vineyard website.