So here we go… another 100 day challenge, looking at readings throughout the whole Bible that give an overview of the whole grand narrative- the big picture, the full sweep etc (or, in case you don’t go for grand epic sweep: a series of micro vignettes, photo-stills that demonstrate the multi-faceted progression of God’s relationship with the universe)…
If you’ve never heard of it, E100 is available to download either as a series of readings, or a book of reflections and discussion questions- the name stands for Essential 100, in case you were wondering.
The readings are in groups of 5- 10 groups from the Old Testament and 10 groups from the New, and we’re looking at them in our churches over the next 20 weeks, until the autumn. As i did last year, I’m going to attempt to post a reflection on each day’s reading, and of course, I’ll probably miss a few due to holidays and other things cropping up.
So, today, we start at the beginning, or rather, in the beginning- Genesis Chapter 1 & 2. And the thing that always strikes me is this- there’re 2 accounts… yup. In chapter 1 God calls things in to existence culminating in the creation of man, and in chapter 2 God creates man before plants or animals. Hmm, did God create the world twice? (version 1.0 crashed around the second week and had to be re-banged) Or was the writer of Genesis suffering from short term editorial disorder (where wordcount is more important than content, and you don’t realise you’ve said the same thing twice)? Some reckon this is suggestive that two writers/groups of editors each wanted to put a slightly different version in… me, i’m not exactly sure about that, but i know that they both make amazing reading.
Maybe the writers/editors weren’t having an argument, but instead wanted to emphasise some different things- the first chapter speaks of the wonder of the universe and the work of God (including word and Spirit), while the second makes me think about the relationship between humanity and God and the closeness between God and humanity- the God of chapter 2 understands human loneliness and responds to Adam’s need… the God of chapter 1 makes stars with a word… I need God to be able to do both those things, and so I’m glad that even here, right at the beginning, its there in black and white.