Story 1: In the Beginning
God is the Creator and he creates through speech. This is not the gaggles of gods found in Egypt, Babylon, or Rome, in which creation comes through procreation with other gods. This God speaks and from his speech comes life, definition, clarity, and even separation.
The Hebrew word for chaos and void is TOHUWABOHU. Formless. Void. Do you ever look at your inward tohuwabohu and wonder, "What word will God speak into me? How can God turn my chaos into a living world of clarity and fullness?"
Due to the consistent patterns in each of the days of creation, many scholars have concluded that Genesis 1 and 2 are part of a liturgy. It is a moving, sobering, theological reflection. It is poetic. There is naming and separation. A command to fill. This God loves life--be fruitful and multiply. We need more of you! What God does the first 3 days (sky, earth, water) God fills the following 3 days. Isn't it amazing how God goes about filling the empty?
This page of Scripture is not an owner's manual that tells how one would put together the cosmos if it came packed in a cardboard box after having been carted from overseas. The Scriptures are not a how book (science) or a when book (history). The entire bible is preoccupied with the identity of God and humans--the Scriptures are a who and why book. Who are you? Why are you here?
Another theme of Genesis 1 and 2 is that of worship--of our individual and corporate relating to God in worship. If you read Exodus 39 and 40 there is overlap between Moses' fashioning the tabernacle with God's creation of the world. We see the writer's grand idea: the earth is a tabernacle; the Garden is the Holy of Holies; humans were meant to live and relate to God in the sanctity of this space. Friends, this is holy ground we inhabit. God is here. Here is God. With you. Creating you. Defining you. Redefining you. Out of the void God speaks the gospel of grace to you, "Come, you belong here. You are my child in whom I am well pleased. You are my new creation" (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Finally, a striking point is the point that days are linear. There is the first day, second day, third day, morning and evening. Time moves forward. This day will never be lived again. There is a deadline. Days and life begin. Days and life end. Our work and life will be done. And one day we and our work will cease. Then, through the sure and certain hope of the resurrection through Christ Jesus our Lord, we will rest in peace and rise in glory, filled to overflowing with life eternal and abundant.
Jesus, the Gospel of John, tells us is the Word made flesh who dwelled among us. Jesus is the word God speaks to us and fills our empty hearts. Hear that word today.