In The Beginning
The bible begins with God.
The whole of the bible is the story how God interacts with individuals than larger and larger groups. How God creates, sustains, redeems, saves, and works with and for creation. God is there always at the center. God takes on different disguises. God does not evolve, but man’s perception of God does. How we see God does change as we are given clearer glimpses of the divine.
Life is full of beginnings.
We are born; we start school, make friends, start jobs, marry, and have children. The beginning that Genesis 1 speaks about is the ultimate beginning, the beginning of all that is. Yet, this is not something that happened once a long time ago, but happens all the time. In nature, our lives, and all around us, in the beginning, it was good, very good. Man will wreck the works, but that is later.
First, it is good, very good. Blessing not curse is original and natural. Goodness is the way God meant life to be.
Marcus Borg claims “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” may be the only line in the entire bible that can be taken literally.
We don’t own the earth or anything in it or on it. It has been given to us on loan from the creator of the universe and we should begin treating it as holy as it is. As caretakers, we should take care of it. This will mean changing our attitudes and actions not just to the natural world, but also to our fellow man, animals, and ourselves. There are many things each of us can do to do this.
I have a friend on Facebook who is in the process of sponsoring a child and has said that she wants to adopt. That there are too many uncared for children in our world. That is part of taking Genesis 1 seriously.
We are confronted with natural wonder, human suffering, animal cruelty, selfishness, human compassion, natural disaster, and beautiful creatures both large and small. Our response to these things—the good and bad—will tell others how serious we take the opening chapter of our holy scriptures. We should do something whether its sponsoring a child, adopting or fostering a child, donating money to some charity, getting our hands dirty in a third world country, volunteering, taking better care of ourselves and others will extend more of God into this broken world. We are called to not sit and soak in the wonder and suffering of life, but to get busy making this world better.
To borrow a line from the first chapter of Genesis it is all very good.