In the Beginning: And Still Today
In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth. – Genesis 1:1
This is the first sentence in the first chapter of the Bible. It is the beginning of everything. As we know, God went on to create all that is seen and unseen, from the smallest particles of the atom, to the endless expanses of space, to the one celled animals, the great seas and mountains, the vast forests and plains, the birds of the air , all the animals of land and sea and, finally, human beings. And, with the completion of each project, he looked upon it all and said, “It is good.” And God did not stop creating then. He is still creating. It is God’s very nature to create.
What does this mean to us today? Might it mean that we ought to act out of this nature in this world in all that we say and do? Might it mean that our words and our deeds ought to be always creative in nature, meaning and purpose? Might it mean that we ought never tear down, or destroy, that we ought never do damage to language by manipulation or lies, that we ought always promote and defend life in its manifold varieties, at all of its stages?
If the rest of the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and the New Testaments, in their vastness and in their countless stories, examples and admonitions, is evidence, I think so. We are to be “In The Beginning” people. But we ought always see ourselves as beginners in this effort, for that is all we will ever be in this world. Because we are fallen, we will always be in need of God’s continuing, creative graces in this life. As beginners, though, we are always filled with faith, hope and love. This, then, is one of the great meanings of the Creation story. It lets us know that we are to participate in creation, that we are to commit ourselves to an attitude of creation, to turn away from any and all attitudes of destruction, that we are to, finally, recognize that an attitude of creation is the very purpose and meaning of our lives. It is the attitude of God in whose image and likeness we are made.