Thursday, July 12, 2007

God in Genesis 2

Having recently re-read Genesis 2, I was struck by how many different roles God has within a single chapter. Here are some that I noticed:

God the rainmaker (v. 5)
God the potter (v. 7)
God the lifeguard giving the kiss of life (v. 7)
God the gardener (vv. 8-9)
God the removalist (v. 15)
God the career-advisor (v. 15)
God the commander (v.16)
God the matchmaker (v.18)
God the assistant (v.19)
God the anaesthetist (v. 21)
God the surgeon (v. 21)
God the genetic engineer (v. 22)
God the celebrant (v.22)
Did I miss any?

These opening chapters of Genesis are so rich. Like the first pages of a novel, the main characters (God, humanity and the rest of the creation) and their basic relationships are sketched. God is the source of all that is, including human life. Humanity is blessed with abundance and in order to be abundant. The good world is both gift and task.

Despite the tragedy of chapter three, these relationships remain foundational for the rest of the story. Humanity's tasks - to be fruitful and to exercise God's caring rule over creation (1.28) - are both affirmed even in the midst of the 'curse' passage in 3.14-19. Both will now be more painful and difficult, but the basic tasks remain.
Fifteen points for the name of this cathedral. And twelve if you can correctly name the artwork.


Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for someone to guess so I can learn - where is this place and what is the fantastic artwork?

Anonymous said...

Is it the new Coventry Cathedral? Certainly built around the same time...


Jonathan said...

The cathedral is All Saints, Bathurst, and the artwork is "Come Holy Spirit Renew the Whole Creation" by John Coburn.

All of this comes after the chapter opens with God resting.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea where they are or what that is, but it looks nice :P

byron smith said...

Jonathan - yes, twenty-seven points. I should have realised that if someone got one, they would be able to get the other. Oh well, I guess you struck it rich.

I skipped verses 1-4a as I think they belong more with chapter 1, but you're right about that too. God is also a rester.

Jonathan said...

After I stopped being simply impressed at my guess at the cathedral, I did start to think that it was a lot of points for simply finding the artwork while confirming the guess. Not complaining, though.

It does seem strange to read about the resting at the beginning of a chapter about creation, doesn't it? I can't make up my mind whether it's just silly or if there is a point to it.