I find myself tied in knots, sometimes, by a pressing need for purpose. What is it all about? What is it all for? Will any of this effort matter in 100 years? Then I remember this story: it is the story of Genesis 1, a story of creation. I tell the story inspired by Rabbi Marc Gellman who says, “if you want to know what a story means, tell a story about it.”
In the beginning the earth was formless and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The darkness threatened, the waters raged, and nothing could live on this fearful planet. It was the world of our nightmares.
One day, in God’s own good time, God said, “Let there be light.” Into the threatening darkness light began to shine. And God smiled on this world of Day and Night. But God the Creator had only begun.
Then, in God’s own good time God said, “You rolling waves, you deep waters, listen to me. Gather together so that Land will appear.: And God smiled on this world of Land and Sea. But God the Creator had only begun.
Then, in God’s own good time God said, “Let this planet be filled with life”. And out of the Land all sort of plants: began to grow, from the land all sorts of animals began to move on the earth. Out of the air all sorts of birds began to swarm. Out of the water all sorts of fish began to teem. And God smiled on this planet so full of life. But God the Creator had only begun.
Then in God’s own good time, God stooped to the ground and modeled from the soil human beings–female and male, male and female God created them–in God’s own image God created them. And God spoke to the woman and the man, these human beings. God said, “Will you be my partners? Will you accept the calling to work with me on this beautiful world? Will you take care of the Creation? Will you work to make the planet a place of life, not death; a place of love, not fear. And the human beings looked around at the beautiful planet so full of life and said, “Yes, we will.” And God for God’s part, promised to be their Partner.
What happened? The human beings planted gardens, cultivated farms, and built cities. They sang, painted, and danced. And they fought, and made weapons and built great walls and iron curtains, and tore them down again. Sometimes God said, “Well done! Sometimes, God said, “What were you thinking!”
And God continued to Create. God continued to create flowing fields of wheat and prairie sunsets. God created children and grand-children with a sparkle in their eyes no one could ever explain. And God also brought bitter winter storms, and heart-breaking trials to the earth. Sometimes the human beings sang, “Thank you God.” Sometimes they prayed, “My God, why have you forgotten us.”
But God and the human beings, God and God’s partners, continued to create together. And God the Creator and God’s partner, the human beings, the women and men, the boys and the girls, had only just begun.
I invite you to remember this story, people of God as each of us play our part in God’s great story.