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At the beginning of creation, there was a problem, As far as we can tell the problem is the land needed to be cared for, to be tilled to be farmed to be cared for. At the beginning of creation, God needed to send rain for the plants to grow but if there was no one to care for the land there was no reason to have plans so there was no reason to have rain. At the beginning of creation, there was a problem that needed to be solved.
At the beginning of creation, there was a geyser or a hot spring that would Bubble Up and add water to the land to make it wet enough so that the dirt became kind of Muddy, kind of clay. God took a handful of that mud, made from the dirt of the ground, in Hebrew, the adamah, and began to work it and play with it like a potter and shaped it into a creature, a being that could work the soil and care for the land. This was an earth creature, adam, because it came from the adamah. It had form but no life, until the animating life breath of God was breathed into it. The earth creature had no gender, and was not named man, despite what many in the future would say.
And the first problem was solved. But, this is now life, and problems bubble up like that first geyser .
Because the creature was made of the Earth had a relationship with the Earth and with the Potter who formed the Earth creature out of the Earth. The God who made the Earth creature wasn’t always going to be able to walk side by side in the garden with them. And it was not good for the Earth Creature, built for relationship from the very ground of its being up through its heart and mind to be alone.
So God had a new problem to solve a companion must be made for this Earth creature, one who could help the Earth creature work the soil could be a companion to the Earth creature and with which they could walk through the garden together. This was to be a companionship of equals. It’s been said that Adam needed a helper, someone to assist the Earth creature in their work. But what it means azar, is like Divine helper the one who comes when you cannot find your own way out of a situation.
So God picked up some more clay and worked it into animals making pigeons and Pelicans, making cows and camels, making perch and bass. And while some were helpful for the care for the Earth, in the tilling, were a companion for the Earth creature.
And God made and wondered and thought that maybe there was a different approach. Instead of making a companion out of the brand new clay that God picks up, God would make a companion out of the earth creature itself, that would be a companion suitable. So God anesthetized the Earth creature, made it to sleep, and took flesh, the former clay, from the side of the Earth creature, dividing it into two parts, mending the first Earth creature and building a second.
In the future Generations from this moment of creation, there will be those who say that the second creature is less than the first. They’ll say that God just took a small portion of the first Earth creature, just a rib to make the second creature but that’s not really what the translation says, that’s not really what God did. And if that were true, then that first Earth creature would be less than the earth it was made from.
And when the earth creature wakes up it is then he notices the difference between himself and this new Creature built. Only then does he notice a distinction between him and this new creature creation and names himself man and her woman.
The problems are not over for this couple, they will have troubles they will make mistakes. But there is also the trouble that we and many others before and after us, we, their spiritual descendants have made of this story.
It has been made a story of power and authority, of dominance and ownership, of value and worth, it has been made a story of History and Science as if it were fact and not a lore to teach us about a god got their hands dirty played in the mud and the muck to bring life. To bring into the world creatures humans and birds and Cattle and fish who would play a part in the caring for the Earth and living and relationship with it
It’s a story that’s been used to claim one part of Creations importance and not humbly acknowledge its place, that the Earth creature that we belong to the Earth and to each creature into each other
Of course, it doesn’t stay as issues of gender but can then extend into the rest of the world, the rest of our lives, and how we hit ourselves against other people about how we believe ourselves more important than how we create a hierarchy of valuable people and those who are less deserving, that they don’t belong because they don’t get the mold that we have created that we expect everyone to fit into.
We are made by God, built for relationships and we belong.
There’s a librarian who makes short videos yes they’re on tiktok they’re all so on your Facebook if you want it to find that and then he talks about caring for the children who come into the library and the adults.
In the beginning, God created all that is.
God formed us out of the dust of the earth.
God entrusted us with the care and keeping of all that God has made.
It is not good for us to be alone in this work.
Therefore God gives us helpers—equal partners in God’s call.
Our God, who is three-in-one, created us for relationship.
Relationship with God and with one another.
Thanks be to God for our loving communities.
From the first moments of creation the first stories we have of who we are as humans living in this world are about relationships, a relationship to one another, relationship to the Earth, and our relationship to the creatures in and on it. We belong to each other we were built to be here and to care for each other to be each other’s helpers in our times of need; sometimes that intimacy comes with one particular person with whom you marry and spend your life together and sometimes it is a good friend and sometimes it is this community that that is a family that comes together in times of need that celebrates together and holds each other when they grieve.
We are built for relationships, in the way we are molded and formed and built. It is in who we are, how we are to live in mutuality and community and care for each other. And this church family, church home, community is part of that community of care and support and love. We help and support and grow and become together, and support each other as we’re being made and remade. How we help, support, and challenge each other. And so we belong to each other, to the earth, to God, belong in relationship and community, support and challenge, love and compassion,
May your day, your week, be one of community, living in relationship with all of creation; may your week be one of obnoxious kindness and care for each other and all of creation.
You belong here, I am glad you’re here.