27 September 2017

Genesis 1:26-31

"God created humankind in his image." (v. 27)

Psalm: Psalm 90



Today's passage continues where yesterday's left off, completing the first account of the origins of everything. The refrain "and God saw that it was good" (Genesis 1:18, 21, 25) comes to a climax in verse 31 when God acknowledges that "it was very good". God clearly put a lot of God's own self into the work. But then God decided to make humankind in "his [own] image" and likeness. Could it be that, having made everything and seen that it was good, God wanted to create a being that could share God's own enjoyment? Oh yes, and also help to take care of it?

The idea of creation is not static. It is subject to change; plants and animals will grow, but as time passes the pristine orderliness will degrade; it needs to be tended. Pruning, weeding, mowing are in prospect, not to mention forestry, conservation and animal husbandry; shared enjoyment implies shared responsibility and shared work. Could this be part of what Genesis means by 'in our own image'-sharing in the tending, and perhaps in the planned development of that pristine environment?

To Ponder

  • Is humanity fit for purpose? Why?
  • How far do you see yourself as a steward of creation? How does that noble ideal 'cash-out' in your everyday life?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr John Ogden

John Ogden spent most of his life (he is now in his late 70s) teaching Computer Science in the universities of Glasgow and Reading. A local preacher since 1964, he served the Reading and Silchester Circuit as a circuit steward in the 1980s, then candidated for (non-stipendiary) ministry.