In the Beginning…Thus starts the Bible. In the Beginning! I can not tell you how glad I am that that the Bible doesn’t start with, “Once Upon a Time…” That would make it sound like a fairytale, a story that though fun to read and to hear is not true or real. In the Disney Animated feature Brave, the heroine Merida’s mother is teaching her the importance of history. When Merida responds to an important legend in their clan’s history with a flippant, ‘That’s a nice story’. Her mother irately responds that, ‘Their not just stories, Merida. They are Legends and legends ring with truth!”
C.S. Lewis writing about the importance of myth to the Christian story and its truth says this,
“In the enjoyment of a great myth we come nearest to the experiencing as a concrete what can otherwise be understood only as an abstraction … When we translate we get abstraction – or rather, dozens of abstractions. What flows into you from the myth is not truth but reality (truth is always about something, but reality is that about which truth is), and, therefore, every myth becomes the father of innumerable truths on the abstract level. Myth is the mountain whence all the different streams arise which become truths down here in the valley; in hac valle abstractionis ["In this valley of separation"]. Or, if you prefer, myth is the isthmus which connects the peninsular world of thought with that vast continent we really belong to. It is not, like truth, abstract; nor is it, like direct experience, bound to the particular.”
So as we read the creation ‘Story’ at the very beginning of the Bible in which we see God creating the world in six days we might ask ourselves is this the beginning of ‘The Greatest STORY ever told’? Or is it something more. Is it myth? I believe the creation story is the myth God uses to help us understand in our limited way the truth of how he created all things. As Lewis states Myth is the father of innumerable truth.
What we are reading this morning is the truth and this truth illuminates our understanding of the whole Bible. God created this world and created us in His image to be stewards of this world. God created this world through the work of the Holy Spirit. God ordered this world according to His plans and purpose. God made mankind to be in right relationship with him and each other. All which God created is Good. These are just a few of the truths we receive from the Creation ‘story’ first two chapters of the Bible.
Question to prayerfully consider:
How does God guide us into knowing His Truth?