When you look around at the scenery around Crieff, it’s hard to think that paradise was ever lost. It doesn’t matter what the weather’s like, when you drive from Crieff to Comrie, you just have to marvel at the gentle beauty of the landscape.
And yet, we seem to have it wired into our system that we did lose something, and we’ve been trying to get it back ever since.
Our weekday readings this week have been telling us the story of creation, or better, our origins. According to the first two chapters of Genesis, there are two creation stories, as it were. It’s tempting to look at these as some kind of myth, explaining how things came to be, and accounting for our present situation. How come things aren’t perfect?
Why is there suffering in the world? Why do we not live in an ideal world? And, of course, this is part of what the writers of Genesis are trying to do. But there’s more.
Creation is ongoing
“The Word of God is alive and active,” the Letter to the Hebrews tells us.
This is something which, up until recently, we have found it difficult to get our heads around. We live still in a world dominated by the written word, but that is changing.
More and more, people watch videos and listen to the spoken word and music online.
We are, in a sense, rediscovering the world in which the Bible was written, an oral culture.
When you live in a world where important stories are told and acted out, rather than written down, you tend to experience the word as something that creates, moves, and brings about relationships.
The word becomes dynamic, something you have to respond to there and then. This is how the Book of Genesis and the other books of the Bible were largely understood by their hearers.
In other words, this isn’t just a myth or story of how things came to be: it is a tale for here and now. God is creating and recreating the world and us in it by his constant presence. He is inviting us today to till the earth and care for it; he is right now breathing life
into our nostrils.
Eden isn’t lost, it is being offered to us this minute.
Take a moment to look around. As Christians, we don’t believe in a God who is present inthe trees, grass and mountains, but someone who is present to us through them
and by them.
He brings us into communion with him through the world as it is, not how it used to be.
He is here, speaking, creating. What is he asking us to do today to take care of the Earth?