Monday, January 14, 2008

Two Creation Stories

Monday, January 14, 2008 -- Week of 1 Epiphany, Year A

"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html

Audio Podcasts of today's "Morning Reflection" and those from the past week are available from http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html (go to St. Paul's Home Page www.stpaulsfay.org and click "Morning Reflection podcast")



Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p 943)
Psalms 1, 2, 3 (morning) 4, 7 (evening)
Genesis 2:4-9(10-15)16-25
Hebrews 2:1-10
John 1:1-18

We hear two creation stories today.

Genesis 2 begins with a desert wilderness. Before rain happens, a stream rises from the earth to water the ground. God forms a human from the earth and breathes life into him. (In Hebrew "adam = a man" / "adamah = ground".) God creates a garden with two trees, the tree of life (immortality) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The human is to work to till the garden and keep it. As a partner, God creates every living creature, but none is fully satisfying, until the woman is fashioned from the man's rib. (In Hebrew, "ish = Man" / "ishshah = Woman".) They live in a pre-conscious innocence, without wisdom, moral discernment, and the knowledge of their own mortality.

The story tells us that we are God's creation, breathed into being by God's Spirit/Breath. We live in partnership with all creatures, and we share stewardship of the earth that God has made. The relationship of the Man and Woman is a genuine partnership -- helper is a word often used to describe God.

The Prologue of John is another creation story. The Word is distinct from God ("with God") and is united in God ("was God"). All comes into being through this God-Word, the light that shines in the darkness. The Word is Jesus, who comes to the world to manifest the light -- "the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth... From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace."

To Adam (Earthling) is given all of the natural world, to work and to till in a cordial relationship. The Man and Woman are one flesh, an equal and cooperative partnership of mutual help. This is the way of nature. The humans ("humus = earth, dirt, ground") live in an intimate, familiar relationship with God.

Jesus is the coming of the fullness of the divine life, the Word, into a particular human life. He brings light to enlighten, to restore us to our status as children of God who receive grace upon grace. We know fully what God is like, for God is like Jesus. Jesus is the human face of God.

With stories like these we communicate our conviction that God intends blessing and union for humanity. God gives us earth; God gives us divinity. Breath and light. God's purpose for us and for creation is intimate and lofty. Let it be.

Lowell

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Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link:
--
Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html


The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life:
We aspire to...
worship weekly
pray daily
learn constantly
serve joyfully
live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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