Monday, August 15, 2016

Genesis 1. 1,2,3

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
              1: 2 And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
             1: 3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

It seems straightforward when read as simply metaphors  But when I stop to un pack the very beginning of the Bible and creation it’s far from straightforward.  What is heaven?  What is earth?  We pray, as Jesus taught, Our Father who aren’t in heaven.  Heaven seems to be inward.  God isn’t ‘out there’ but rather ‘in here’.  The eastern mystics chant, “I am the bubble, make me the sea.”  Dr. Carl Jung used a similar idea of the ‘collective unconscious’.
I always ask, what did God ‘create from’.  There was only God so all creation is God stuff.  Later we see God dividing parts, separating but here it’s just creation.
The earth was without form refers to the stuff like clay which we later use as a metaphor too, describing God as a potter.  Those are old world metaphors. Today we’d see God as the great chemist and physicist.  The stuff of DNA and the Periodic Table are the first ingredients of the soup and/or Big Bang.  Creation is spectacular.
But what of ‘darkness was on the face of the deep’.  What is the deep.  Again the image of face and deep.  The superficial and deep. The deep was dark like any problem or any challenge. The simple is apparent.  But the underlying message often appears hidden. Ad here it is.  The deep seems to be God or heaven in my mind.  The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  Earth formless is water?  Where did the water come from?  Now we have the division of the God into God and Spirit.
(The issue further is ‘translation’.  Studying Hebrew I find that there is thousands of years of meaning and usage caught up in each of these words.  There isn’t agreement in full on any of these principal parts.  The very language of the ancients is dynamic and more inclusive.  Today we have countless words and meanings but in the beginning with simply fewer words then these fewer words meant more.  So reading the first lines of the Bible and thinking, I know that, is rather arrogant.  There is so much more ‘unknowing’.  At most I feel there is a finger pointing or a ‘wee small voice’.  I look and listen.  And pray.)
Finally God speaks and says “Let there be light: and there was light."

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