Double the fun

Today’s Reading: Genesis 1:1-2:25

What better place to begin a new series than at the very beginning with the creation of the universe? Many who grew up in the church know the story of creation… but did you know that at the beginning of the book of Genesis, there are actually two separate creation stories? Scholars believe that the two stories were written by different people in two different areas or communities.  Because each teaches us something about the character of God.

The first story is found in Genesis 1:1-2:3. Here, God is able to create through words alone. God speaks creation into existence! The story emphasizes the mighty power and creative genius of God, able to tame the chaotic waters and overcome the darkness. God seems to be “out there” in the cosmos, big and far away, yet God knows creation and proclaims it “very good.”

In the second creation story, found in Genesis 2:4-2:25, God is intimately close to creation. In fact, God lovingly crafts all beings from the earth itself, like a potter molding clay. God creates humanity with the love and care of a great artist and then breathes God’s own breath, God’s own life, into the person. Then God lives alongside God’s creation, in relationship with it.

At first, I struggled with this, believing that only one could be “true.” Now I understand, though, that both can be true because each teaches us something about the character of God. At different times of my life, I have needed to be reminded of all of these characteristics of God. Sometimes, when I’m afraid and feeling helpless, the power and might of God brings me comfort, knowing that with God, all things are possible. Other times, when I’m lonely or feeling disconnected, the second story reminds me that God’s own breath is within me, that God is intimately close and desires relationship, even if I can’t always sense it.

Which story speaks to you in this moment of life? Which characteristics of God do you most need to be reminded of right now?