Sunday, September 8, 2013

It is Good: Sermon on Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Scripture can be found here...

And the people gathered in the sanctuary at Union Presbyterian Church, and they experienced worship as a kind of liturgical “Pop-up Video”…

Remember that? It was good.

VH1, noon, weekdays…

Pop-Up Video: Video playing while bubbles popping,

Bubbles, to tell you interesting or weird facts
about the artist,
or the song,
or the process of making the video.

Liturgical Pop-Up Video:
Worship going on while bubbles popping,
telling us interesting,
or maybe weird,
facts about worship.

And hopefully, it was good.

And it was time for the sermon,

that time when the preacher shares thoughts or insights
but always, hopefully something relevant to the faith journey,
hopefully, something God-breathed,
hopefully, something that opens the minds and hearts of the people
to the action of God in the world and in their lives.

And the preacher hoped and prayed with all her heart that it was good.

And one of the ways the preacher hoped to help it to be good
was by using the Narrative Lectionary.

The Narrative Lectionary—
a set readings that will take us through the bible,
beginning at the beginning….
the story of Creation,
and then the stories about God’s covenant with the people of Israel,
and then the stories of slavery and freedom in the Exodus,
and then the rise—and fall—of kings,
and then the time of exile and prophets.
And then—oh then!—Jesus.
Jesus, this year, as he is known in the Gospel of John.
And then the story of the early church…

And oh I hope and pray and trust in my heart,
It will be good.

In the beginning…it was good.

The story of God and God’s people begins in mysterious darkness…
there is water,
and there is a wind from God,
Spirit of God, breath of God.

God is an artist, and artists need light…
So God spoke and there was light.

And it was good.

And one by one the days… or maybe it was millennia… of creation unfolded.

And God saw God’s good creation unfolding, or maybe evolving…

And God’s creation, God’s artistry, was good, so very good.
All of it, God-breathed:

Every leaf
Every blade of grass
Every luscious blueberry
Every dewy-eyed cow
Every color, fragrance, temperature, elevation
Heights of mountains, depths of ocean,
Sparkle of stars…

All of it, every thing, too many zillions of things and places and specificities:
All of it, the God-breathed, the Word of God, the breath of God creating:
And it was good, so very, very good.

And God created people,
people to be co-creators with God.

That’s what sets us apart.

An amoeba can find food.
A human being can plant and grow food for the specific purpose of giving it away.

A deer can find a cool stream.
A human being can help to bring safe water to parts of the world 
where people are dying for lack of it.

A sparrow can create a nest, a shelter.
Human beings can figure out how to shelter one another.

A pride of lions can hunt a herd of gazelles.
Human beings can find ways to live together peacefully.

This is what sets us apart. God the Creator has given us creative capacity.
We are God-breathed creations, and very specific creations at that:

God created humankind in the Divine image,
in the image of God we were created;
male and female we were created.

We were created to be creative:
We are co-creators with God.
We are called to think creatively, to act creatively,
To solve problems creatively.
That is our gift.

And it is, it can be, so very, very good.
When we use it.

So let us be who we were created to be:
Living images of the Creator.

Let us know that the tomato from the vine is, indeed, good,
And it is better when we give it away.
Let us know that we are God-breathed for dominion, not domination,
And “dominion” is tender care.
Let us know that we are called to use our God-breathed hearts, souls, minds, and strength,
All in the loving service of the one who gave us breath,
and in service of all the God-breathed creation.

And it is all very, very good.

All praise and thanks be to God our Creator.


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