“A ‘successful’ life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our own bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them when they are hurt and afraid, and need our company; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us; war on our communities, because we are fearfully protecting what we have, and do not feel safe enough to be kind and generous; war on the earth, because we cannot take the time to place our feet on the ground and allow it to feed us, to taste its blessings and give thanks.”
– Wayne Muller, SABBATH, p. 2
I’ve started my 2014 Bible reading plan and first on the list is Genesis 1:1-2:3. Here are some of my reflections:
1. The Creative Power of God. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (1:1) Creation owes its existence to God; all creatures owe their existence to God. By God’s Word out of nothing they came to be.
2. The Dignity of Human Beings. (a) They, male and female, alone of all the creatures on earth, are created in God’s image. (b) God gave them dominion over the earth and the living creatures on it. (1:26-28)
3. The Providence of God. God has provided for the sustenance of the creatures that he has made. “You shall have them for food.” (1:29) “[To] … everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” (1:30)
4. The Goodness of Creation. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (1:31) Creation, as God originally made it, is beautiful and good. And even after the fall we still see significant remnants of this beauty and goodness.
5. The Sacredness of the Sabbath. “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (2:2-3) Even the omnipotent God rested! Rest is important, the day of rest is sacred – i.e., not to be violated but to be treated with reverence. There are a number of positions people hold regarding the Sabbath (some say it’s been changed to Sunday, some say what matters is the principle of rest in one day out of seven and not a specific day); the important thing however is: God rested, so should we.