Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Today, in Mercy, we launch into about two weeks of readings from Genesis and from Mark.
The story of Genesis is one of the first Bible stories we learn as children. Because of this, some of us, myself included, tend to read Genesis on a simplistic level, picturing the now unattainable Garden, the first animals, and the humans ultimately dressed in their grassy outfits.
These two weeks offer us a great opportunity to take our understanding of this beautiful book up a notch.
Imagine what the Genesis story meant to the first community to hear it! Their faith had been invested in an array of gods, both friendly and inimical, who seemed to control their daily experiences. Many times, these gods were in competition among themselves with disastrous results for humans!
By contrast, the God of Genesis is One God, All-Powerful and All-Knowing – the Author of all Creation. Human beings are created in the image of this One God with Whom they are in unique and special covenant.
Roger Nam, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at George Fox Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, summarizes this special character of Genesis. I found his description helpful to my prayer:
As you consider the wondrous nature of creation, it is important to recognize the radical, remarkable, and revolutionary nature of the Genesis creation in its original context. This presentation of God comes as a wonderful relief and assurance to the family of ancient Israel.
The God of Genesis 1-2:4a provides assurance to those who work to raise crops against their numerous natural challenges. The God of Genesis 1-2:4 brings peace to the nation struggling for survival against the numerous encroaching enemies from all sides. God is one. God is powerful. And God created us in his image. This opening passage of our Bible constitutes the essence of good news.
As we pray today, we might ask God to conform our hearts to the perfect order of Creation, the Law and Covenant of Mutual Love. We pray with today’s responsorial psalm:
Instead of music today, a reflective reading from Genesis: