Sermon for 07 June 2020

A young boy asked his father about where people came from. His dad told him that we were formed by God and he could read the story of creation in the bible. The boy said that his mom had told him we were part of evolution and we came from monkeys. The father replied – “O that was your mother’s side of the family that came from monkeys.
There has always been a lot of discussion about the creation story. Today I chose to talk about it partly because it came up as part of the lectionary but also because I think it has merit in today’s world.
First I am only addressing the first story of creation found in the bible. There are two stories and they are not the same as some would tell you. The first one starts at Genesis chapter 1 and goes to Chapter 2 verse 4.
The second story starts after that. The main area of difference between them is in the manner in which humans were created. In the first order the people are created both male and female at the exact same time, after the animals.
The second order is different. A male is created first and then the animals. God then asks Adam if he found a suitable companion in the animal world and Adam responds no (there are a lot of jokes I could make about that). However God then takes a rib from Adam and makes a woman. This is very different from the first story. It was written in a different time by a different group for a different purpose. One of the reasons why so many people know the second story is that Paul used it as a basis in his diatribe against women. The second story puts women in a subservient position. The first story does not
The first order which was the original, follows the pattern of evolution very closely. First we have a void then we have light and darkness, after that is a dome (sky) (or Skydome) followed by earth and water, vegetation, land animals and then humans.
There are many problems with a literal interpretation of either story
First how does anyone know what happened before people existed. There was 5 days when there were no humans, so the reporter must have been very clever. It is a story
The point is that we were all created in one place which makes us all relatives.
Whether you believe this story a native one, or evolution or some of the other creation stories – it really doesn’t matter. They are all just ways of the human race trying to explain where we come from.
The Ojibwe Legend is similar to the Jewish story. Both man and woman are created at the same time – after the earth and animals have been formed. The reason for human existence was that the creator was lonesome. Another variation includes the development of the earth on the back of a turtle, hence we have the term Turtle Island. Toronto Zoo has Turtle Island conservation program.
Other stories portray Sky-Woman falling slowly to earth, being protected by the animals and then giving birth to two beings. A good one that went to live in the sky and provided good things for humans and a bad one that dwells among us.
The Japanese myth of creation is part of the Shinto Story. It is about a beginning in chaos and silence.. Then there was some sound and particles began to move. As light travels faster than matter, the light rose to the sky and the matter stayed and formed earth. Then 5 gods appeared and hid. They had no gender or partners. Then another 3 and finally 5 pairs of gods showed up and created all the other gods.
The Chinese have many creation stories, although there is not creator. Basically and simplistically everything spontaneously formed in 15 days and the common element instead of being water was air.
If you start to follow the various cultures you will find some similarities but also some differences.
The basic similarity is that there was some form of chaos and out of that came life. Sometimes I wonder if we are re-entering the chaos era.
The Mayans have a story about a group of deities forming the world. Then the sky collapses, they kill a crocodile and prop the sky back up on 5 big trees. Then the creation continued with the order being animals, clay, wood and people made from maize dough. This may sound odd but for them, that was their belief.
The bottom line is, no one knows how we got here and it only makes sense that we came from a chaos of some kind.
But no one knows how we got here. There was no one around. I personally prefer the evolution theory which is very similar to many of the creation stories including the first biblical one. I believe there was a creative force that started it all, but however it happened – it was a gift. None of us engineered or instigated it. Even if you think we came from aliens, you had nothing to do with it. When you really think about it, you didn’t even have anything to do with your own birth.
Secondly I believe we all came into being by the same means. There was no separation of gender or race. I have a friend who believes that we were all born asexual. In other words there was no gender distinction we simply reproduced. The separation of male and female developed over time. You may have trouble with that, but certainly skin colour, culture, physical features, beliefs even wealth are all things that developed. Those things should have given a richness to our world.
The situation in the USA right now is horrible, but it is not the only one. All over the world people are living less than beautiful lives due to an inequality that should not exist.
I remember a few years ago when a child sued his parents for giving birth to him. He said he had no control and that life was forced on him so his parents should look after him and give him their money. I believe that the father said “You’re right we had no control. If we did – we wouldn’t have chosen you” That child didn’t realise the gift he had been given
Sometimes I wonder if the creative force, feels that way about us right now and what we are doing. Do we realise the gift we have been given? Do we realise that is IS a gift. None of us own it. Some people try to own the story by saying theirs is the only version. Not only do we not own the story – we don’t own the earth or anything in it.
There should be no prejudice, no poverty, no war. Life should be an adventure – not a sentence. We are all sisters and brothers. Every person has hopes and dreams. Every person wants to feel love.
Thanks be to you, God, Creator Spirit. You were here before us. You have wisdom beyond us and your Spirit will be here long after any of us. We find you already in the trees and in nature, We find you in the weather. We find you in the concrete of the cities. We find you in other people. We find you in the stars. We find you in so many things that we don’t even understand. You have created and are still creating. We give you thanks.
Help us to realise that we are living in a gift. Help us to share that gift equally.
Open our hearts and minds to see Christ in everyone and everything.
We pray now for people who are close to us, We pray for others who especially need pray at this time.
Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.
Our Father who art in heaven
Hallowed by thy name
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory
forever and ever Amen
Opening Prayer
Hymn – Come in Come In 395 VU
Scripture Genesis 1: 1-2 and 24-27
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Draw the Circle Wide 5MV
Go now in Peace
Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen