Genesis 1: 1 -4
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
An American, whose great grandfather had emigrated from the West Country of England and made the family fortune, returned to the village of his great grandfather’s birth. He found to his delight a row of cottages that looked like the ones he had heard about in family stories. As he further explored he came to The Big House of the former squire. Noticing the house was empty he went into the garden and sat under the shade of a huge tree growing there, and he fondly imagined his great grandfather doing the same 140 odd years ago. It gave him a great sense of connection with his family roots and he began to feel a part of the whole landscape. (It never occurred to him that as a village urchin his ancestor would have been chased had he had the temerity to enter that garden). He went to the village pub for something to eat and enquired why the Big House was empty. Family can’t afford to renovate it so they’re selling it he was told.
Three phone calls and twenty minutes later our American millionaire had bought the whole estate. He soon employed architects and builders to renovate the house and grounds with strict instructions that his great grandfather’s tree was to be preserved. He returned to the States where he proceeded to bore everyone with the story of his great grandfather’s tree.
One morning in the golf club house his friends started to question whether his great grandfather would have actually sat under the tree after all he had emigrated over 140 years ago surely the tree wouldn’t have been big enough to sit under if it had even been planted then. A quick phone call to the man he had taken on to manage the estate after the renovations, “That big tree in the garden could you find out how old it is?” “Shouldn’t be difficult give us a couple of hours”. He went off to play his round and on return rang the estate “Did you find out the age of the tree?” “Yes it was planted in around 1830” “That’s great so it would have been big enough for to shelter under by 1870?” “Oh yes” “Thank you that’s excellent news. By the way how did you discover its age so quickly?” “Oh we just cut it down and counted the rings, good night sir”.
Origins are important to many and it is human to devise a narrative to fit our journey whether factual or not. The writers of Genesis were looking to answer questions like where did we come from? How did God and mankind become so close? Lacking modern science they came up with the Genesis explanation. If you look at what modern science has to say they were actually pretty accurate certainly the sequence of development is the same starting with the big bang of light, formation of Earth, the coming of life and the coming of humans. All that and they weren’t even writing science they were writing a theological explanation.
The fact that we live in a great universe in companionship with God cannot be denied, by all means question how ,but never doubt the why. Because he loves us.
Lord God our loving Father in Heaven, we praise and adore you, we worship you for all you have given us. May we strive to be worthy of it all.
In your Mercy hear our prayer,