We joined together on the evening of Thursday 15 January for our first Bible Study of 2009. It was also the first in our Vision4Life programme, in which (along with the rest of the URC) we are being encouraged to develop a more creative understanding of the Bible.
Under the guidance of our Minister, Stephen Thornton, we read the Bible’s account of the creation as it is given in Genesis Chapter 1 and Chapter 2, verses 1-3. Stephen pointed out to us that the passage is written in the form of a poem, and that we should approach it as we would poetry.
In groups of two or three we were invited to consider the questions: how do we feel when we receive praise or criticism for our handiwork? what are our gifts and character? do we see ourselves as others see us? Pondering these issues helped us relate in some measure to God’s creativity.
Image is Everything
What does it mean to say, as Genesis does, that we are made in God’s image?
Back in our groups of two or three we discussed which of the following ideas made most sense to us:
1. We look like God.
2. We can think like God. (We can reason, plan, decide, reflect.)
3. We can know the difference between right and wrong.
4. We can relate to God.
5. We represent God on earth.
6. We can create and care for things as God does.
It was interesting to see how people’s thoughts varied – each opinion valid in its own way.
The Creation Story in Genesis: Literal, ‘Litter’, or Something Else?
1. The literal understanding: The world was created in exactly six days, and therefore science is wrong.
2. The ‘litter’ theory: The Biblical account is rubbish – the creation took much longer than six days, and science proves it.
3. Something else: An understanding that science has some of the answers, but a sure knowledge that God was most certainly involved.
Earth is our Home
Are we being good housekeepers for God? We need to remember the strong message from Genesis 1: ‘God said it was good’. Is God looking at earth now and seeing it is good?
(Do you agree or disagree with the views expressed here? Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.)