Bereshit ("In the Beginning")I have to start by saying that I cannot interact with Genesis without hearing in my heart the melody of the Weston Priory (Gregory Norbert) song, "In the Beginning."
God's Spirit moved above the waters.
Out of the darkness came a Word that brought new life:
This is so good let there be light!
I have read and/or heard many of the stories of this portion of Genesis many times before. They are, perhaps, the most familiar stories of the Bible, Creation, The Fall, Cain and Abel, Sarah and Abraham, Noah, The Ark, and the Flood, Babel. Each told as a freestanding story has its own unique message. As I read them through, from one to the next, I asked what -- besides the goodness of creation -- did they have to say together, what was the message woven through them. Gratefully, the Spirit began to show me the thread that weaves these sometimes seemingly unrelated stories together as part of the fabric of Holy Scripture: relationships.
Each of these stories calls us to examine our relationship with God's creation whether it is the environment in which we live, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the vegetation we consume, the persons with whom we live, the persons with whom we work, our families and community members, animals, our bodies, our own selves. The connection of "right relationships" that crosses these stories ultimately sets up the framework for our most significant relationship on this human journey, our relationship with God our Creator. Reading through these narratives in this way, I realize it's only the first 12 pages, has already been a really powerful experience as I contemplate the thread that weaves through these pages of Scripture.
I realize that my findings are not profound by comparison to the revelations others will have, but for me the good light shining through this reflective experience tills a soil that I hope will yield a very productive engagement with The Word through this collaborative Scripture Sharing journey. Underlying all the words of these first 12 pages is the recognition "This is so good, let there be light!" affirming the underlying goodness of all God's creation and the potential to do great when living in the light!
As for my experience of doing this first reading, I actually finished the 12 pages yesterday, in a single sitting in my quiet space. For me, I tend to enjoy reading with background sound but for this Scripture Journey, I am trying to quiet the space so I can best hear The Word above the sounds of silence.