The Beginning of the World
1 In the beginning God created the sky and the earth. 2 The earth was empty and had no form. Darkness covered the ocean, and God’s Spirit was moving over the water.
3 Then God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good. So he divided the light from the darkness. 5 God named the light “day” and the darkness “night.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the first day.
6 Then God said, “Let there be something to divide the water in two!” 7 So God made the air to divide the water in two. Some of the water was above the air, and some of the water was below it. 8 God named the air “sky.” Evening passed, and morning came. This was the second day.
9 Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered together so the dry land will appear.” And it happened. 10 God named the dry land “earth.” He named the water that was gathered together “seas.” God saw that this was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the earth produce plants. Some plants will make grain for seeds. Others will make fruit with seeds in it. Every seed will produce more of its own kind of plant.” And it happened. 12 The earth produced plants. Some plants had grain for seeds. The trees made fruit with seeds in it. Each seed grew its own kind of plant. God saw that all this was good. 13 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the third day.
14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the sky to separate day from night. These lights will be used for signs, seasons, days and years. 15 They will be in the sky to give light to the earth.” And it happened.
16 So God made the two large lights. He made the brighter light to rule the day. He made the smaller light to rule the night. He also made the stars. 17 God put all these in the sky to shine on the earth. 18 They are to rule over the day and over the night. He put them there to separate the light from the darkness. God saw that all these things were good. 19 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fourth day.
20 Then God said, “Let the water be filled with living things. And let birds fly in the air above the earth.”
21 So God created the large sea animals. He created every living thing that moves in the sea. The sea is filled with these living things. Each one produces more of its own kind. God also made every bird that flies. And each bird produces more of its own kind. God saw that this was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Have many young ones and grow in number. Fill the water of the seas, and let the birds grow in number on the earth.” 23 Evening passed, and morning came. This was the fifth day.
24 Then God said, “Let the earth be filled with animals. And let each produce more of its own kind. Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals. And let each produce more of its kind.” And it happened.
25 So God made the wild animals, the tame animals and all the small crawling animals to produce more of their own kind. God saw that this was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness. And let them rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky. Let them rule over the tame animals, over all the earth and over all the small crawling animals on the earth.”
27 So God created human beings in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. 28 God blessed them and said, “Have many children and grow in number. Fill the earth and be its master. Rule over the fish in the sea and over the birds in the sky. Rule over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 God said, “Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds. And I have given you all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. 30 I have given all the green plants to all the animals to eat. They will be food for every wild animal, every bird of the air and every small crawling animal.” And it happened. 31 God looked at everything he had made, and it was very good. Evening passed, and morning came. This was the sixth day.
The Seventh Day—Rest
2 So the sky, the earth and all that filled them were finished. 2 By the seventh day God finished the work he had been doing. So on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day. He made it holy because on that day he rested. He rested from all the work he had done in creating the world.
The First People
4 This is the story of the creation of the sky and the earth. When the Lord God made the earth and the sky,
2 Corinthians 13:11-1311 Now, brothers, I say good-bye. Live in harmony. Do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.
12 Give each other a holy kiss when you greet each other. 13 All of God’s holy people send greetings to you.
Matthew 28:16-20Jesus Talks to His Followers16 The 11 followers went to Galilee. They went to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 On the mountain they saw Jesus and worshiped him. But some of them did not believe that it was really Jesus. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. 19 So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world.”
In an unexpected turn of events, a guest speaker was unable to talk due to a medical emergency, so I got to handle this week’s discussion off the cuff. Luckily for me, the kids provided a lot of the material. While I was reading the creation story, which the kids are pretty familiar with from our work in Godly Play, I see a hand get raised. I finish up the reading and ask what the question is, this is always a dangerous chance with kids. “How did God create people before dinosaurs?” Don’t panic, let’s go back to the text. “Let the earth be filled with animals. And let each produce more of its own kind. Let there be tame animals and small crawling animals and wild animals.” Now it was time for the Socratic method. Are dinosaurs animals? There was a little dissension on this, but the group agreed that dinosaurs were indeed animals. More specifically are dinosaurs tame animals, small crawling animals or wild animals? The group agreed that they were definitely not tame, but that there were both small crawling (sometimes huge crawling) animals and wild animals around with the dinosaurs. Did God create the animals, including dinosaurs, before people? Yes. Do we think that there were people around when the dinosaurs lived? No. So, fossils tell us that dinosaurs were around before people, and Genesis tells us that God created the animals, including dinosaurs, before people, back to the question, did God create people before the dinosaurs? No. Of course, there was a follow up, and it revealed the source of the whole issue. Why didn’t we mention dinosaurs being created specifically? The helpful question asker even offered her own answer. People thought they were dragons then, not dinosaurs. I knew when to jump off that train, and move on to the next reading.
The exchange about dinosaurs, dragons, giant bugs, and we even got into giant people, ghosts and Slenderman, serves to illustrate the difference in the world children live in as opposed to the one adults live in. As adults we “know” what things are real and what are not. Gravity, yes; ghosts, no. Giant bugs during the Jurassic, yes; giants at the top of bean stalks, no. Children don’t “know” these things though, to them ghosts and dragons, are as real as thunder and wind. The idea that these things are real is even reinforced when we visit the museum and they see a giant lizard skeleton, sure we call it a dinosaur, but it is clearly some type of dragon. And how can you fault them for believing ghosts and zombies are real, when we read about a Holy Ghost, and the resurrection of the dead in church? From an adult perspective we often approach issues of faith with a need to explain and justify based on facts and reasoning. This isn’t always the best approach when dealing with kids though. A well-reasoned discussion about the origins of the universe, creation of matter and the differences between Big Bang, creationism, intelligent design, evolution, can serve as a great forum for adults of all different backgrounds and beliefs. With kids they fail utterly with kids, not because the kids don’t understand reason, can’t grasp the concepts, or don’t care. These topics just don’t take into account the reality kids live in. If you don’t let the kids talk and lead the discussion, how do you know that the really crucial piece of the discussion needs to be explaining where dragons and giants fit into Creation.-Brandon