By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE
(2nd in a six-part series on the world we live in and how we as a global community take care of it.)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2
My science friends tell me the world started with a ‘big bang.’ The Bible says there was one, too. But there’s a difference… my friends who reject any significant biblical insight say that once there was something that exploded… and then it became something new. When I ask them what that something was… they don’t have much of a reply and when they challenge me about my thoughts on how it all began… I answer with a confident… “I have a deeper more unbelievable view… God created the world out of nothing.” It’s not an argument… it’s a statement of faith.
There’s more. I’m writing not to defend ‘creation’ this week. I’m writing to share a particular insight about what it means to take care of the creation and how God’s opinions and actions matter. Faith matters… even to God!
Those who know the Genesis story well… literally the ‘in the beginning’ book… are all too familiar that at the end of each day’s Godly manifestations God said, ‘it was good’ and when it came to the creation of humans… in God’s own image… the response was a rousing ‘and it was very good!’
Look again. Day two. Something else happened that second day… before God put us at the top of the list. Here is what I read in my Bible… “And God said, ‘Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.’ 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.” Genesis 1:6-7.
It was… so. Not very good. Not good. Just so.
So… what do we make of that? God took six shots at making the world… according to the story… feeling good five of the six days… enough to get it all started and then rested the seventh day… calling it ‘blessed’ and ‘holy’… set apart for our hearts to rest in God’s love and grace… part of the rhythm we tend to for our own benefit and the goodness of the created world in which we live… If it were baseball … going 5 for 7 is a pretty good slugging percentage. But, back to that second day.
When the rabbi was asked long ago about this… his answer was swift and insightful. “God hates separation. That’s why the second day was just so,” he said. Yes. Separation is painful. Something ripped from itself hurts… a broken bone… a broken marriage… letting go of the hand of your favorite grandparent as they take their last breath… having courage enough to allow your almost adult child to get on with their life… without you… you get the idea… and as God separated the water… God separated the water from itself and it hurt… so… in all honesty… God could not rejoice…
Being created in God’s image, we hold a privilege and responsibility to care for God’s creation. We’ve been connected to the creation from the beginning and when we do not tend to this reality in careful ways… we separate ourselves from that which provides for our very existence and the sustenance we require to keep going… and as we do… it hurts… the air is full of smog… rivers and streams are littered like the highways… forests are ablaze due to carelessness and intention and there is a pile of plastic bottles and containers in the center of the Pacific Ocean larger than the state of Texas! The whole creation groans right before our very eyes as too many are blind or uncaring. We can do better… more than just so… doing good… as WE are… after all… very good!
The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee is a long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana. Read more following Brian’s blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/. Please send your comments and/or questions to [email protected].