Summer Stories: Creation

31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 1:27-28

For the second summer in a row, we have decided to look at Bible Stories that we tell our children in Sunday School. Many of these are stories that we have allowed to stay children’s stories in our memories and imaginations. Our intention is to listen to them again with all of the cynicism, wisdom, and experience that our years have given us.
This Sunday, we started at the beginning. We looked at the poetic rendering of the beginning of things found in Genesis 1. This is a text that typifies the “children story” vs. “adult belief” divide. Where our children can listen to this story with wonder, we often find ourselves pitting our Sunday School teachers against our high school science teachers. As a result, the story gets twisted and crushed under the answers we demand from it.
Step out of that conflict and re-read the story! Try it. Read Genesis 1. I’ll wait.
Do you see what it is trying to say to us… even to the adults in the room?
The text isn’t trivia. It isn’t just giving a theory about how things came to be. It is linking how those things came to be with God. The importance of the text is the glimpses it gives to us: glimpses of what God thinks, what God intends, who we are, who everyone else is, and what everything else is. The text is connecting all of those things with God. And what is God’s intention in all of these things? Goodness. It is good.
Now, as we read this, we may be able to agree with it. We may see it and can sing out in praise. But to many of us, it seems a bit of a stretch. All we can do is shake our heads because of how far things have all fallen from everything being good. Wherever we are, this text speaks to us.
This text tells us that God’s intention for all things is good. God’s heart is for good. This text invites us into this. Maybe things have gotten so not good because this story is an invitation. Maybe it being only an invitation is why people can be so cruel. Maybe that is why the earth is so polluted and abused. But that doesn’t change the invitation and the intention in this text. There is still an invitation to enter the good that God intended. There is still God’s intention and he has not given up on his dream for good.
This is the gospel. God’s intention has second wind in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to re-create, to redeem. The wind blows once again as the Holy Spirit. They will bring to pass God’s intention for all things… for us. In this story, we are invited to be part of the good that is still there, that is reflected in us and in our neighbors, that is reflected in the sun in the sky and the light separated from darkness, that is reflected in Creation.
It is good. It will be good. We are valued and invited to be part of it… to reflect the good of the God who created all, who redeems all, and who will recreate all for good.
Jesus, we confess that skepticism builds the more we experience the way this world you created works. Even so, we ask that you help us to see the good of your intentions for us and for our world. Help us to be people who can see your heart for Creation. Then give us the courage to be the image of Your heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Keenan Barber