Our scripture for Sunday is Genesis 1:1-2:4a.
Let’s take our assumptions about Genesis and set them aside for a moment. For now, let’s look at Genesis through the eyes of the exile. After King Solomon’s death, Israel was split into two kingdoms-Israel (North) and Judah (South). Israel was conquered and taken into captivity first. Hundreds of years later, the same happened to Judah. Judah was taken by Babylon. Babylon eventually fell to the Persians around 539 BCE.
The exile was a time of chaos for the Israelites. There was a remnant left in the homeland, but most had been taken to a foreign land. Many had no recollection of home. Yet, out of this chaos, stories were passed down through the years and eventually written down in order to teach about the origins of the world and the origins of a chosen people. These stories are what we now call Genesis.
Genesis 1:1-2:4a is the first creation account. There is order and a purpose to each day. God made light, dark, sea, land, plants, animals, and the seasons and called them good. But, God wasn’t done. God made humanity in the Divine Image and called us supremely good.
If God made us in God’s image, that makes us image bearers of the Divine. And if each of us bear that Divine Image, how are we to treat each other?
Our day is not much different than our ancestors thousands of years ago. There is chaos. There is hatred. There are people who claim to act in God’s name, but harm others based on skin color, belief, or sexual orientation. It’s antithetical to everything the Gospel stands for and it stands contrary to the words found in Genesis 1:27:
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
If we are made in God’s own Divine Image, what does God expect from us?
Pastor T. Wes Moore