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In the beginning…

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 25 May 2014

Twice in a month – once by choice, and once through the lectionary – I will have preached on Genesis 1.

The creation story. Exhibit A in the atheists’ indictment of primitive, anti-scientific, superstitious religion, we tend to shy away from it. We apologise, rationalise, and explain it away as poetry, allegory, whatever. Or we just ignore it with other parts of the Hebrew Bible that embarrass us as Christians.

But look again and you begin realise something fundamental. A truth. At the heart of Genesis – and at the heart of our lives – is the answer to the big question. What are we doing here? If we believe in God, why were we created?

Putting aside the literal timeline, Genesis tells us we were created to participate with God in his creation, as fellow workers. We were created to be in relationship with God, and with each other. We were created, in some way, in God’s image.

We may have messed up the world we were meant to be stewards of. We may through greed or carelessness have deformed our relationship with God. And we all too often seek to create God in our image, rather than accept it’s the other way around. But that does not alter the fact that Genesis tells us what the model was – and will be again at the end. What our purpose was – and is.

Genesis should not embarrass us as Christians because, as we come to the end of the Easter season, it is in the resurrection of Jesus we see the working out of the Genesis story. To borrow a phrase: the resurrected Christ is the perfection of creation, and the creation of perfection.

In the beginning…

Revd Will Morris