“Maker of Heaven and Earth…”
Prayers for the World
1. For Joy in God’s Creation
O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCP, 814
Creation: “Before” . . .? Luther and his switches.
Thinking of the beginning as qualitative rather than temporal.
Importance of the beginning in terms of the Anselmian distinction.
Creation = a unique act of God’s freedom.
Genesis, composed around 500BC, contrast with Isaiah, 8th century BC.
Two Creation Stories:
Genesis 1:1-2:4 = newer, more sophisticated, Priestly source
Genesis 2:4ff = J source, older, close to the Enuma Elish.
Political and theological: “The interest [in writing the creation story] was not in causal explanations but in a search for meaning, a framework in terms of which life could be lived.” David Brown, Invitation to Theology, 1989.
Other Ancient Near-Eastern creation stories. What is creation and ancient near East cosmologies? What is creation in the Genesis account?
Two analogies when thinking through Creation:
Stresses transcendence, God’s distinction from the creation and also His freedom.
Rays from the sun. Important in Orthodox theology.
Allows that Creation is not arbitrary.
Creatio ex nihilo or creatio ex chao? And why does it matter? A thought experiment.
Books for beginner theologians:
The Holy Bible
The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, especially the Eucharistic prayers and the Catechism.
Hunting the Divine Fox: Robert Farrar Capon
The Peaceable Kingdom: Stanley Hauerwas
Praying Shapes Believing: Leonel Mitchell
Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry: World Council of Churches, free online.