In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. And God said, ‘Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.the trail down the canyon
The Generations of the heavens and the earth...
Not the generations of the patriarchs or matriarchs.
Not the generations of the descendants of Adam... or David... or Jesus... or the people of God.
The Generations of the heavens and the earth.
Before my final year of college, my best buddy and I traveled the southwest and received Earth Science credit for doing so. There were less than 20 of us in the class with three or four professors. We traveled by vans from Oklahoma to Utah for 26 days, stopping at Mesa Verde, the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon. Each day we set out to explore and each night we set up our pop tent to camp under the stars.
This was my first encounter with the generations of the heavens and the earth.
When we hiked into the grand canyon, we hugged the walls of the earth closely. My left hand caressed generations of earth, layer upon layer upon layer of rock formations. Kaibab Limestone at the top followed by the Toroweap Formation. Coconino Sandstone too. One of our assignments for this course was to memorize the layers of the canyon. We made a song about it to the tune of Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Generations of earth, piled upon one another, years of formation, rain storms and sunrises, snow storms and sunsets. Wind and glaciers. Generations of the earth.
What you see from the top of the canyon is not what you see from inside.
My buddy Janean
This text, the first of the creation narratives (remembering of course that there are two creation stories in the scriptures, the other is in Genesis 2.) This first one is poetic in its repetition. I can hear it as liturgy.
The wind of God is the leader in this worship setting. Those of us encountering creation are the participants. I can hear the wind beginning each verse, "And God said..." And we respond, "And God saw it was good." And the wind says, "And there was morning and there was evening..."
Our days, the earth's days, the generations of the heavens are marked by the wind of God, sweeping above and below, before and beyond us. Creating, fashioning, forming layers upon layers. The patience of God, the persistence, the constancy amidst a changing landscape. These are the generations of the heavens and the earth.
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