Creation

And God said,
"Let there be lights in the dome of the sky
to separate the day from the night;
and let them be for signs and for seasons
and the days and years,
and let them be lights in the dome of the sky
to give light upon the earth!"

And it was so.

God made the two great lights -
the greater to rule the day
and the lesser light to rule the night -
and the stars.

And God saw that it was good.

And there was evening
and there was morning,
the fourth day.

(NRSV)


This "Day’s Creation" does seem out of order - certainly with our understanding of how life on earth began. Obviously, the sun and moon and stars must have been in place before the dry land appeared (see last week).

However, it reminds us that the writer of Genesis was not writing a scientific treatise but a Song of Praise - proclaiming the goodness of Creation. The Fourth Day takes us back to the First Day - the creation of light. God takes it a step further by ordering lights for the day and the night and setting them and the stars in the vault over the earth.

We know far more about the sun and the moon than the writer of Gen. 1 could have imagined - people have walked on the moon. However, despite our knowledge, we still use them to mark the passage of a year as the writer would have done. We now know that the stars are distant suns in a galaxy (let alone a universe) far bigger than the writer could have imagined. We know that some have planets - and that some of those may sustain life.

If the writer of Gen.1 felt awe at a flat earth covered by a dome - how much greater should our wonder be when we gaze at a point of light and know that, travelling at 300,000km/hr, the light left the star hundreds of years ago.

Drinking from the Wellspring

Take time out to go out and gaze at the stars.

Take a star map with you.
Try to pick out constellations and stars - and perhaps see just how far away they are.
(The nearest is 4.2 light years away - 400,000,000,000,000 km away)

And, as you gaze, remember the One who created it all
- Who knows each star by name -
- and who holds all you see in being -

Allow yourself to be a little awe-struck!

1998 Wellspring


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