In the Beginning…
Familiar words and perhaps a familiar story in Genesis 1 & 2. And yet creation can be something of a confusing thing to talk about. I think there is probably a couple of levels to talk around here.
With the youngest kids it is probably enough to tell the story actively. Make noises as Creation unfolds under God’s mighty hand. (I know the laws of physics get in the way of noise prior to air being created but that is probably okay). Note the orderliness in which creation begins with the general (the universe) and unfolds to the particular (other creatures and humans!). God created each of us on purpose and loves every one of us. On purpose.
With older kids it gets a bit dicier. Too often they’re hearing either/or arguments when it comes to creation and evolution. Seems to me the truth isn’t quite so black and white and society wants to corner young people into one or the other.
Here’s what I think. The laws of physics should not be denied nor should science in general. There is some great science research going on and with that in mind any scientist worthy of respect will admit science doesn’t have the bottom line answers. When I was in grade school, an atom was about as small as we studied. Then in high school we studied electrons, neutrons and protons. Since those days scientists have delved even deeper and found new things. Science is good!
As far as evolution itself goes, I’m not sure science has come up with a definitive law but I do think that populations change over time. Humans don’t look exactly like they did even 2,000 years ago. We’re taller (well, not in my family but most are) and faster than even a few centuries ago. Things change and continue to do so. God’s creation is ever expanding.
So how does creation fit into science? I don’t know exactly (nor does anyone else) but I think the Creation story in Genesis displays the grand unfolding of God at work in making order out of what was previously chaos. And we are part of that order. And God put us here on purpose. How we got here isn’t nearly so important as WHO put us here.
The bottom line? Science and faith have a place to be together. The details are hard to fathom for most of us since we don’t understand quantum physics any better than we understand God. Even so, both have a place in our lives.
Blessings on your faith walk this week! Let me know if I can help answer questions that come up.