“Then God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees of every kind, and trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.’ And so it was.” (Genesis 1:11) “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:28)
“then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Genesis 2:7-8) “And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.” (Genesis 2: 22)
These scriptures give a glance into the two different creation stories that emerge from Genesis. In the first, God creates the world and all that is in it and then proceeds to make man and woman. In the second, God first makes Adam and then creates all the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and, seeing that Adam is lonely, creates Eve. I think many times when people read these two separate accounts of creation, they get confused, and either choose to believe one or neither of them. Especially for people new to Christianity, finding two contradictions within the first two chapters can be disheartening. Often we forget that the world was a very different place tens of thousands of years ago when the first stories in the Bible were first being passed down. There was no written communication everything was by word of mouth. Each village or tribe of people would have story tellers who recounted the stories of how things came from memory. These story tellers learned from the story tellers before them and before them and so on. The repetition in the first creation story “Then God created… and He saw that it was good.” Is proof of this and gives insight into the use of repetitive language to help remember. There is really no way of knowing how the world was created and which, if either, of the two stories is the right one. But really is it a matter of how we got here or that we are here? Should we be putting so much focus on the how of our creation or the now of God’s presence with us? On this very Holy Saturday of the Easter season, I think it is easy for us to get caught up in remembering the Passion of our Lord and waiting in anticipation and hope for him to rise again on Easter Sunday. There is nothing wrong with this as remembering and celebrating is what the Easter season is about and is the concept around which Christianity was formed, but what else can we do to respond to the Jesus that is here, now, right in front of us? As a college student, the first thing that comes to mind is inviting others who may not attend church to go to the Easter vigil mass. Even the smallest things can invite Jesus to be a part of our lives here and now. Whatever it is, however insignificant you might think it to be, try it! Remember, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.”
Jonathan Meinhardt majors in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering..