Monday, June 6, 2011

Creating: A Good Way To Start

Genesis poses several challenges to Bible readers.

For some, Genesis represents a lens the natural world: a 6,000 year-old Earth where the words in Genesis trump any scientific discovery. For others, the idea of a talking snake conversing with the first humans delegitimizes any claim the Bible makes. Placing these perspectives on a continuum, I imagine that many Bible readers fall somewhere in between the two aforementioned poles.

I'm reflecting on the creation stories in Genesis today because I'm beginning a ministry that is new to me. God has been here in Lakewood and at St. John's Lutheran Church long before I got here. But In Genesis, God engages humanity to join in the creative action of God. Creation is an ongoing activity, initiated and supported by God--I'm glad I get to take part.

The challenge of the day in light of Genesis is actually creating. Creating was a first person activity for our parents and their parents. It was not only part of survival, but essentially cultural: our ancestors cooked from scratch more often, created their own tools and crafts, fixed their own household items. This is not meant to glamorize the past, rather give us perspective on where we are.

In an information age, passive intake is a default operation for many cultures. I don't wish to return to glamorized days of yore, but I do want to recognize that creation takes intentional action. Any of us can execute our survival primarily on consumption. From Internet, to social media, to ordering a pizza on a smart phone, to streaming movies on a tablet, we can navigate our days without much intentional thought. I am thankful for all of these tools, but creation can easily be lost from day to day living.

Maybe the view of "be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28)" can be expanded from bringing children into the world to creating in a sense that makes life better for living.

Seth Godin's book Linchpin has challenged me to reconsider my participation in creation. What am I sharing with the world? What steps am I taking to give life in the world? In encouraging moments, Godin encourages me with all the gifts and talents I have, at other times reminds me how often I waste time spinning my wheels on social media and Web surfing.

Today provided me one of many choices; writing provided me a good path to start a ministry that is new to me. Creation is a good foundation for any day of life.

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