The Story of Creation takes a close reading of the first creation story in Genesis 1:1-2:3 within its historical, linguistic, and Scriptural context. Within the first chapter of Scripture we explore topics such as the nature of God, the work of the Trinity, the nature of time, how to read the Scriptures, the (non-)existence of evil, who we are, the nature of salvation, and our responsibilities to creation and to each other. For background in this study, I have used primarily Bereishit (Genesis) Rabbah, the JPS Torah Commentary: Genesis, and St. Augustine’s Confessions. This Epiphany study covers seven weeks.
This morning we are looking at the Creation narrative set forth in the first few verses of Genesis. I want us to look at three major lessons of the Creation narrative, and how it relates to our life in Christ.
It is disgraceful for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we must prevent such an embarrassing situation, where people show vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn.
Within my spiritual walk, the story of creation provides an endless resource of unfathomable depth to contemplate the great mysteries and questions of our faith. My goal during Epiphany is to introduce you to and bring you along on my contemplative journey through Genesis 1.
The purpose of Genesis isn’t to tell us how, but why. Its purpose is to tell who God is, who we are, and our place in God’s creation. This will be the object of our discussions.
Tonight, we will read the creation story together, discuss the text from a reader-response perspective, and look at its overall structure.
My translation of The Story of Creation.
This week we will be looking at the first three words of the Hebrew Scriptures: Bereshit bara Elohim (“In the beginning God created” or literally “In the beginning created God”)
As we begin to spiritually unveil the deeper meaning of Scripture, our goal is to see who God is, who we are we, and the relationship between the two. There is no “right” answer, there is only growing closer to the Ultimate Divine Reality.
The merism of “heaven and earth” express the totality of the cosmic phenomena at creation.
“The earth was without form and void/ and darkness was upon the face of the deep/ and the Ruach Elohim moved over the face of the waters.” Let your mind’s eye see what the passage is saying about who God is, who we are, and how we relate.
“God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.” A short discussion on Theodicy and Evil as Negation.
Within this reading there are three words to focus upon: Said, Light, and Called. What is the power of speech, what do we mean by light, and what does it mean to name something?
Days 1-6. Grasping and glimpsing the Divine in Creation through an analogy of being (analogia entis).
Genesis teaches that God does not simply bring about Creation and steps back, but remains intimately involved with his Creation.
“You alone have been made in the image of the Reality that transcends all understanding, the likeness of imperishable beauty, the imprint of true divinity, the recipient of supreme blessedness, the seal of the true light.”
The Father giving His commands, the Son carrying these into execution, and the Spirit nourishing.
The classical idea of dominion carries with it a responsibility commensurate with the power given.
Both John and Paul will directly adopt Philo’s understanding of the Logos in describing who Jesus is, and particularly Jesus’ pre-existence and role in creation. The uniqueness of their proclamation is that this Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
Paul wants us to understand Christ’s role in the creation of all that is, so that we may then understand his role in the reconciliation of all that there is. Jesus restores everything to its original condition because he made everything initially.