A Creation Poem

Jeff Munroe

Read: Genesis 1:1–2:3

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (v. 1 KJV)

Personally, I am not very interested in the creation or evolution debates associated with this passage. Instead, I simply want to point out something usually overlooked: this passage is a poem. The structure parallels itself—on day one God says “let there be light,” and on day four he places lights in the heavens. On day two God separates the waters from the land, and on day five he creates creatures in the waters and in the open air. On day three God creates plants on the land and on day six he creates land animals and humans to steward over the plants and all creation. The second three days complete what was started on the first three days.

This is a narrative poem, full of theology and pastoral wisdom, which begins in chaos and ends in a garden. The point is not how, it’s who. God and his creation are bound together, and this is the foundation that our understanding of God is built on. This is bedrock. How creation works is a mystery, but we are invited to behold, to affirm, and to be in relationship with the God who creates by speaking his Word.

Creation is good, “filled with the grandeur of God,” as the Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote. As we will see over the next few days, the wonder and beauty of creation is a theme repeated often in the Bible. —Jeff Munroe

As you pray, focus on the who of creation instead of the how.