In the Beginning
Creationtide Week One
This is the beginning of a series of daily reflections for the Season of Creationtide (which runs from September 1st to October 4th). These reflections offer opportunities for reflection and response each day. They are not written with the purpose of convincing the reader that the world was indeed created by the God of the Bible. Instead, it will look in a variety of ways at what it might mean to live within that created world, to help the reader to reflect on their place and role in the world that God has made, and to let that inform their faith. The daily reflections will draw on a range of writers, thinkers, poets and storytellers from across the Christian tradition.
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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
The famous opening words of the Bible, the Old Testament, the Torah, set the scene for all that is to come: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. All that was, all that is, all that will be, all this comes from God. Right from the off the Bible speaks of a God who is not passive or distant, but active and involved. The opening chapter goes on to describe the scale, the diversity, the goodness of God’s creation, but here it is enough to simply reflect on the one who creates.
Basil of Caesarea—the first of many such figures we shall meet over the coming weeks—was a Bishop in the fourth century in what is now Turkey. In one of his sermons, he compared God the creator to a potter who, after painstakingly crafting a series of beautiful pots, ‘has not exhausted either his art or his talent’. The creation of the world was not a one time burst of energy that left God exhausted, rather it was a pouring out of something deep within God—a desire to create, to bring about beauty and order and all that is good. God created because God is creative and God’s creativity does not run dry.
This creative heart has left its fingerprints throughout the creation: in the wild evolution of nature, in the instinctive desire of our earliest ancestors to make art on the walls of their caves, in the stories that we tell to our children. The world is filled with creativity because it was created by a creative God whose art and talent are inexhaustible. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth—and that was only the beginning!
What signs of God’s creativity can you see around you, or within you today?
To read more of Richard’s reflections go to the special Creationtide page.
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Revd. Rich Clarkson is Rector of five rural parishes in North Shropshire. He has degrees in Physics and Theology and recently completed his Master’s dissertation on Nature Contemplation in the writing of Maximus the Confessor. He is a member of the Lichfield Diocese Environmental Group, a JRI associate – and dad to three wild boys!