Today we have a part of the second Creation Account from Genesis and a second reminder in Mark that Jesus welcomed children – and was not too impressed if the disciples got in the way.
There are two Creation Stories in Genesis; in chapter 1 the Creation is ordered over 7 days, beautifully ordered, with animals and then humans created on the sixth day, humans made in the image of God, and then on the seventh day God rested, not because he was tired but to show that the world was complete.
In the second account, God makes a human out of the dust, and then breathes life into it. The human is alone, and while it has the power to name the animals, there is no one for company. Having just made the human God then does some selective surgery on it, taking a bone from the side, to form a “helper”- an unusual Hebrew word – and so we find man and woman, male and female.
The second story will continue with the man and woman given a special garden, a wily snake that can talk, and the two humans rather quickly breaking the rule that they were given.
Harvest often has apples as part of the offering. Certainly fruit: Today we are thankful, (I hope) for all the fruit we enjoy, but we should also be aware that – like the first man and woman – we may be transgressing in eating what we should not, over-eating of the world’s resources, eating what we have not properly paid for (food grown by those who are not properly paid for it).
Even as we name animals, we are seeing their habitats destroyed; some will soon be just a name – like the dodo. When Adam was confronted with his transgression he blamed Eve; Eve then blamed the snake. It is so easy to pass the responsibility, shift the blame, think it is others who are the problem.
There is much we should give thanks for, but there is also the recognition that we are part of the over-consuming chunk of the world. If the children are to be welcome, we need to leave them a world to live in.
Rev’d Peter Reiss