The Beginning

Today I'm starting a new project as a part of our Fall education offering. Most of you know, especially if you are fortunate enough to attend Ruth Dobson's adult Bible study (downstairs around the kitchen table at 9:00 a.m on Sunday mornings--don't miss it!) we've had the practice for the last few years of studying downstairs the same text we later read upstairs in the worship service. This year I am attempting to add a daily devotional reading on the week's story and to send these out to you each day from Monday through Saturday. I say "attempting" because writing this volume of material every day will be challenging, to say the least, so we'll see. Most weeks will have 6 installments, some may have fewer.

Today and tomorrow I will be emailing installments to you, but by Wednesday I will be posting these to a "Daily Reflections" page on our new (and very impressive--you really ought to check it out) website: mtvernonucc.org . I will continue to remind you by email for a while as the installments are published, until everyone gets in the habit of going to the website every day. Please let us know what you think.

The reading for September 10 is Genesis 1.1 thru 2.4--the first Creation story. To get the most out of the week, start by reading the entire story in one setting. You will find it below today's reflection. Enjoy.

Week 1, Day 1

Sep 10 14th Sunday after Pentecost

Text: Genesis 1.1—2.4a

Monday: Genesis 1.1,2

“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void…”

Properly understood, a myth is not a fairy tale. Myths are stories that arise from deep within the consciousness, or even the sub-consciousness of a community. Richard Rohr writes, myths “are usually not historical fact, but invariably they are spiritual genius. They hold life and death, the explainable and the unexplainable together as one”. (Richard Rohr, "Falling Upward")

Reading Genesis 1 as a myth, as we will do here, rather than as a historical/scientific account of how the world came to be, opens doors for exploring some of the the large questions: Why is there something instead of nothing in the universe? Who is this God we worship? Who are we and what is the meaning of our lives? What is our place in the story of the world?

These questions beg our attention. They are intimately linked to our understanding of the gospel and the mission of Jesus, and to our grasp of what it means for us to be followers of Jesus today. It is not too much to say that how we understand