- Meister Eckhart
Genesis 1.1 - 2.4a (selections) The Voice
In the beginning, God created everything: the heavens above and the earth below. Here’s what happened: At first the earth lacked shape and was totally empty, and a dark fog draped over the deep while God’s spirit-wind hovered over the surface of the empty waters. Then there was the voice of God.
God: Let there be light. And light flashed into being. God saw that the light was beautiful and good…
God: Let there be a vast expanse in the middle of the waters. Let the waters above part from the waters below. So God parted the waters and formed this expanse, separating the waters above from the waters below. It happened just as God said…
God: Let the waters below the heavens be collected into one place and congregate into one vast sea, so that dry land may appear. It happened just as God said… And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good.
God: sprout green vegetation! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants and all sorts of fruit-bearing trees. It happened just as God said.
God: Lights, come out! Shine in the vast expanse of heavens’ sky dividing day from night to mark the seasons, days, and years. Lights, warm the earth with your light. It happened just as God said… And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good…
God: Waters, swarm with fish and sea creatures. Let birds soar high above the earth in the broad expanse of sky. So God created huge sea creatures, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds… And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good…
God: Earth, generate life! Produce a vast variety of living creatures—domesticated animals, small creeping creatures, and wild animals that roam the earth… It happened just as God said... God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good. And God paused.
God: Now let Us conceive a new creation—humanity--made in Our image, fashioned according to Our likeness. And let Us grant them authority over all the earth—the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals and the small creeping creatures on the earth… So God did just that. He created humanity in His image, created them male and female… The crown of God’s creation is a new creature, a creature that can sound the heartbeat of its Creator. That creature, made male and female, reflects God’s own relational richness. The human family is to join God in the ongoing work of creation. The earth below and the sky above with all their inhabitants are too beautiful and too good to be left alone. They need the tender care and close attention that only God’s favored creature can give… And it happened just as God said. Then God surveyed everything He had made, savoring its beauty and appreciating its goodness… So now you see how the Creator swept into being the spangled heavens, the earth, and all their hosts…
The sermon I will offer tomorrow is entitled The First Act. Since it is based on Genesis 1.1-2.4a, the first creation story, most if not all will easily recognize that to which the title refers; the creation of all things by the spoken word of God. And they would be right. This reference, however, doesn’t stop there. It refers as well to a saving act of God; the first in a long line that are woven into one central narrative that finds its fulfillment in the life and ministry of Jesus.
This overarching narrative is woven together of many biblical stories that can easily be recognized as one narrative that runs through the bible. Some call this the history of Salvation, and that seems to be an appropriate title. Looking back from the end of the story, we can recognize act after act in which God works to save God’s people. Some of these acts are simple, others complex; some are easily recognized, others hidden from the naked eye. But together they lead, in the fullness of time, to the fullness of salvation. Now that’s quite a story!
Starting tomorrow, we will begin use of a fairly new lectionary, the narrative lectionary, that will help us recognize and more clearly understand the one overarching story that runs through our bible. We hope you will join us at 8:30 or 10:30.