Always, we begin again.
When I was imagining how the frame of these gatherings might be built, I thought of the flavour I taste in each month. In September, even though I’ve been out of school for a while, I still taste beginnings. The fall crisp gives me an energy boost and I am ready. So, let’s start at the very beginning, “a very good place to start”.
You are always with us
Delighting when we turn to you
May we feel your Presence
May our hearts be kindled
As we share this time together.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The Creation Stories Genesis 1:1-2:3 & Genesis 2:4 -25 (Read one or both aloud.)
Did you know there are two creation stories in Genesis? Often, when we tell the story of Creation, we mix the two together but each one has something to teach us. Two creation stories signal to us that there is more than one author and more than one point of view involved in the writing of Genesis.
The first story, with its beautiful account of creation from nothing and order from chaos was written by a source called P (for priestly). It sounds almost like a worship with its repeating refrain, “and there was morning and evening . . . “giving it rhythm. And it ends with Sabbath when we practice resting in God.
Sometimes we learn the most from things that irritate us and each of these creation stories has something that might make us wonder. In the first creation story it’s that verse (1:26) that gives humankind ‘dominion’ over other parts of creation. Many people have taken that to mean they can just do what they like with the environment and so they run roughshod over it, use it in ways that damage it and limit others access to it. One thing to remember is that humans only know how to live rightly with creation if they know how to live rightly with God (Sabbath is a day to practice this) who loves all creation and cares for all people. How might we live faithfully with these words.
The second account was written by the source called Y (Yahwist, remember Yahweh is a name for God). While the first creation story started with a void, Y pictures God’s relationship with humans as the starting point. Everything else is made for humankind. God is very ‘down to earth’ in this account, creating man from the earth. In fact, Adam means earth. The Y source wants to establish marriage and procreation both necessary for cultivation of the land. The second account raises questions about the relationship of men and women, since the woman is made from the rib of the man. Hmmm . . . Can you see how this has led to some problems? It also sets the scene for another controversial story – the story of the fall.
You might talk about one or two or you might have your own. It’s not a test; it’s a conversation.
What do you like about these two creation stories?
What puzzles you?
Do you have a Sabbath time?
Praying for others: Intercessory Prayer
After some conversation time on these two questions take a minute or two to write the name of someone or something you are praying about on the small piece of paper*.
If there are only two of you just exchange your papers. If there are several put your papers in the middle of the table where each person picks one to take home. Each day til you meet again take a moment to just pause and bring the person or place on this paper to mind, offering them to God’s care, holding them without words in Love.
The Lord’s Prayer (after your prayer exchange is done)
May [we] draw deep from the wells of the holy
And have the protection and guidance of God
On every path, Jan Richardson
Let us go in peace and in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.