828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Christian education for Sunday January 8, 2012; 1st Sunday after the Epiphany; Genesis 1:1-5; Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath

Jan 8, 2012; 1st Sunday after the Epiphany
Genesis 1:1-5
Six Days of Creation and the Sabbath

Background: The book of Genesis sets the stage for human existence; detailing the creation of all things in the universe and the ordering of creation. Genesis helps tell the story of the totality of creation and the presence of the “opposites” in the world: light and dark; chaos and order; separation of the world from the elements and inhabitation of the world.

Theme: Genesis 1 relates the Priestly description of God’s effective creation of the world and all that dwells therein. This passage depicts a regal relationship between God and creation with this 5 verse section demonstrating God’s effective ability to create order from disorder.

Questions to Ponder
* Read the passage Genesis 1:1-2:3.
* Why might this passage be offered in conjunction with the first Sunday after the Epiphany; the Baptism of Jesus? This passage appears every year on the first Sunday after the Epiphany.
* Other religions in the ancient Near East portray the chaos from which the universe is created as a god or gods yet the account in Genesis depicts the chaos as simply matter. How might the distinction make a difference to the Hebrews in that day, through history, and for us today?
* Some versions of this text separate the passage between verse 2 and 3 or between verse 3 and 4. How might these breaks in the paragraph change the meaning or interpretation of the passage?
* This passage has laid the foundation for the doctrine creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing); however, this passage seems to imply God created an ordered universe out of disordered matter. What difference, if any, might there be between the hypotheses? Which one seems more plausible to you based on your experience of God and why?
* One could read the creation of light from darkness as identifying light as “better” than darkness. Do you think this is the implication of this passage? What do you think the writers were implying by the creative statement of light from darkness?
* Why do you think verse 5 states, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”? Is that ordering consistent with your experience of a day? Why might the evening come first then the morning follow?
* Why might the days of creation present the polar opposites of a different aspect of creation: light/dark, water from above/water from below; and dry land/seas? What might the writers be implying in their description of creation in these passages?
* Why might it be important for us to recollect this passage of creation on a yearly basis? Why might the Hebrew’s have placed this passage in its position of prominence at the very beginning of the Bible?
* Why might the writer stress that all people were created in God’s image? How is this remembrance remembered in Israel’s history? How has the Christian tradition embraced or not embraced this remembrance?
* How might the first day of creation set the stage for the ensuing days of creation? How might the first day influence the remainder of life depicted in the Bible and in post-biblical times?
* What do we apply this passage to how we live out the great commission and share the redeeming message of God in Christ?

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