Confirmation class began today at our church. Where do they begin? In the beginning, of course. Genesis. The Creation.
I listened as two groups examined the sequence of events in each of the two creation stories and then compared them. Yes, two stories. In the first, we read the seven day story, which basically starts like a big puddle and ends up on the sixth day with the creation of all the land animals and humans. In the second, everything starts out dry and clay-like, and the order of things is different.
Why two stories? Did God want to give everyone a choice of what to believe? Was the author (most likely Moses) unsure which story was correct? Did God tell him to include both stories? If so, why? It’s a good question. A lot of people get worked up about the details of the Biblical creation story. And most don’t even recall there are two rather different accounts. Could it be that the details don’t really matter? Bottom line: God created.
Our youth director, teaching this class, pointed out a couple of other things we can learn from the creation accounts besides what was created when and in how much time. These other things are more important than bickering about the details.
First, after each portion of God’s creation, God declared that it was good. I would agree. The sky this evening was just beautiful, and the birds in Audubon Park were squawking with delight. Dogs, children, and young people were soaking up the lovely spring weather with pure pleasure. God’s creation is good. But after God created humans he declared it VERY good. Morgan reminded those kids in confirmation that no matter what great and beautiful things they have seen in God’s creation – God called them good. But the face they see in the mirror is God’s VERY good creation. Even better than oceans, mountains, sunsets, and stars. That’s important.
Second, God refers to God’s self as WE. “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness….” (Genesis 1:26) This of course refers to the Trinity, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is so much to think about in that statement. For one thing, if God is a creator, then made in his likeness we have creativity as well. But another thing is the three-way community of God. God did not create all by God’s self. He was accompanied by a Spirit and Jesus. They worked together. They co-authored, they collaborated. When we are living up to the image of God, we work together in community, too. That is important. It helps to remember that everyone, even the difficult people in our lives, is made in God’s image and God calls them VERY good.
I am honored to participate in this year’s confirmation class. I look forward to reconfirming my faith right along with the young people. Can’t wait for next week’s class.