Creation (Genesis 1:1-2:4)
It is night and the time for stories has come.
In the shadow of the great mountain, a woman sits alone. Her hands, wrinkled with age, lay folded in her lap. Her eyes, bright and full of life, are closed in prayer. A fire warms the space around her as she waits, silent and still.
As the darkness deepens, others join her around the fire. Women, children, and men greet one another with a joy as take their place near the fire. Their eyes drifting first to the top of the great mountain towering over them and then coming to rest on the silent woman seated nearby.
Suddenly, a hush ripples across the gathered community. The woman lifts herself slowly to her feet. Her slight frame seems to grow larger as the fire casts a shadow upon the towering stones behind her. She takes a deep breath and begins to speak.
“In the beginning, all was darkness and chaos. God’s spirit hovered over the darkness, over the chaos,”
As she speaks, she spreads her hands, palms down, hovering them over the earth and those gathered to listen.
“Then God spoke…Let there be light!” The flames burst higher her as she flung her hands to the heavens.
“And there was light; and darkness. God saw them, light and dark together. They are good.”
“That,” she said, lowering her arms, “was the first day.”
“God spoke again…Sky,” she called out, “separate the waters of chaos” and she cast her hands wide apart,
“God saw the Sky; saw it holding the waters apart. It was good.”
“That,” she said, as she slowly lowered her arms again, “was the second day.”
“God spoke again…Land. Come forth. Sea. Come forth.” As she spoke she bent low, rolling her arms, one over the other, drawing the earth upward with her as she stood.
“and God saw the Earth; saw it was rich and brown and good for growing. And God spoke again…
“Earth,” she whispered, allowing the dirt to fall gently from her outstretched hands “Grow.”
“And the Earth transformed. Seeds sprouted, flowers burst forth, the grasses waved, and the trees dug their roots deep and their branches soared to the heavens. And God saw the Earth, and the Sea, and all the green growing things spread across the Earth. They were good.
“That,” she said, returning her arms to her sides, “was the third day.”
“God spoke again…Sun. Moon. Stars. Come forth!” She lifted her hands again to the heavens, sprinkling the stars across the sky with her fingers.
“Sun, the Day is yours to guide. Night, the Moon will walk with you with the Stars as your companion.”
“And God saw the Sun, and the Moon, and the Stars, lighting the day and the night. They were good.”
“That,” she said, “was the fourth day.”
“God spoke again…Sea, Know Life.”
“The Sea filled with creatures; fish and octopus and all manner of swimming things” A smile crossed her face as she pursed her lips and puckered them like a fish, eliciting a laugh from the enraptured crowd.
“Sky, God said, Know Life.”
“The Sky filled with wings; birds soaring over the mountains and down into the valleys” She spread her arms wide, soaring like a bird in flight.
“And God saw the Sea, full of life, and the Sky, full of wings. They were good.”
“’More’, God said, ‘More! Prosper! Reproduce! Fill the Sea and the Sky with life!’”
“That,” she said, “was the fifth day.”
“God spoke again…Earth, Know Life.”
“The Earth teemed with Life. Cattle and sheep, lions and bears, snakes and lizards; all manner of earthbound creatures.”
“God saw the Earth, full of life. It was good.”
“God paused and looked at the world God had created. Light and dark; land and sea; green growing things; sun, moon, and stars; swimming creatures and flying creatures and creatures that lived upon the earth. God knew it was good, and it was not yet complete.
“Then God bent down, and from the good, brown Earth, God formed humans. God cradled the humans in God’s hands and gently blew the breath of life into them.”
As she spoke, the woman looked out across the crowd, catching the eye of each person gathered.
“God spoke again…My children, my beloveds, my blessed ones; look out upon the world I have created for you. It is a good place, a holy place, a beloved place. Love it as I love you. Care for it as I care for you. Because, my beloveds, without you, it is incomplete. And you are incomplete without it.”
“And God saw the Light and the Dark; the Land and the Sea; the Green Growing Things; the Sun, the Moon and the Stars; the Swimming Things and the Flying Things; the Things that Lived Upon the Land. And God saw the humans. It was so very, very good.”
“That,” she said, “was the sixth day.”
“On the seventh day, God looked out over all God had created and was overcome with love and joy.”
Slowly the woman sank back to her seat. She folded her hands upon her lap, closing her eyes once again in prayer. “And God,” she said, “rested.”
Questions to ponder
What was your favorite part of the story?
Where did you see God in the story?
What is God inviting you to try on today in light of the story?
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