Ruminate on the word you were drawn to in yesterday’s scripture passage (Genesis 1:1-5, 31 – 2:3). What does the word or phrase you have chosen mean to you today?
Yesterday the word that stuck out to me was “everything”. God saw that everything he had made was good. To be honest, this doesn’t seem to be a description of our current world. I want to respond: “Maybe everything was good at first, but now some things are good, and some things are not good.” And as I spend time meditating on this word, I find my thoughts turning towards the “not good” in the world.
Isn’t it an easy case to make that the world is imperfect? Wars, famine, death, disease, political bickering, and poverty — the list goes on. How is it that God would look on all this and say “It is good.”
God wouldn’t. And a simple answer might be to say that the world was good, but that now it’s fallen off of that path. Though human greed, selfishness, or sin, we’ve steered the planet off of that path.
Yet…I find myself not being satisfied with that answer. I think it’s true, but something about my reflection yesterday is sticking in my mind. The point I ended on was that the Jewish people saw the powerful creator of the universe as one and the same with their God. God continued to be active in their lives; God continued to create.
I think the element my simple answer is missing is that God is still active in the world today. True, we’ve messed things up pretty bad, and you can read about the results on any front page paper. But God does not simply wash his hands of the whole matter.
At the beginning of this meditation, I thought of things as split between the “good” and the “not good”. Maybe that doesn’t do God’s continual role as creator justice. Perhaps a better way of looking at things is the “already good” and the “not yet good”. As Christians, I believe we are called to transform the world. For me, this word (“everything”) challenges me with the call to look beyond the pain and suffering of the world and see where God’s creation / love can be shared.
What word stuck out to you?
© Creation, Donald Jackson with contribution by Chris Tomlin, 2003. The Saint John’s Bible, Order of Saint Benedict, Collegeville, Minnesota. Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic Edition, © 1993, 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.