Monday 27 May 2013

Bible Book:

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth..." (v.1)

Genesis 1:1 - 2:4a Monday 27 May 2013


The crew of Apollo 8 made their first mission to the moon inDecember 1968. On Christmas Eve, whilst in lunar orbit, they made alive television transmission where they  read out the first ten verses of Genesis. Maybe they chosethese verses not only because of the phrase "heavens and the earth"but also because the chapter speaks of a time when humanity did notexist.

Genesis literally means 'birth' and the book is full of births andbeginnings. The book itself, although from many different sources,is thought to have begun life around the time of the Babylonianexile (c.586-538 BC) and some of the stories are also similar tostories in ancient Babylonian and Mesopotamian folklore which wouldhave influenced the Israelites during their time in Babylon.

Genesis begins with a liturgy of creation, a song, from an ancientworship tradition. Those Christians who have taken its message as aliteral fact have taken the passage far from its original context.This story, although from a later tradition than the 'second'creation story (Genesis 2:4 -3:24), was placed at the beginning of the Jewish sacredScriptures and thus the Christian ones too.

Incidentally in the first verse, the Hebrew word 'ruah' can meanspirit, wind or breath and it has something to do with the force oflife: that without which we do not exist.

To Ponder

  • The first verse of Genesis has a picture of the Spirit creatingorder from chaos. How does this fit in with your understanding ofthe Holy Spirit active in the world today?
  • Does God create out of nothing or does God's power create formand beauty out of an existing chaos? How does this relate to theserious environmental concerns of today?
  • How do we use these stories in our secular culture today?
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