Rationale for Biblific

Writings to capture some of the essence of what is important in each section of Scripture.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Meditation on Personhood (Genesis 1: 24-27)

Genesis 1: 24-27

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

                                                                                                               (NIV) biblegateway.com

As a baby in the womb is encircled, brooded over by, immersed in the fluids of the mother. So the earth, unconscious, yet fertile with life; encircled, brooded over and immersed in the creative mind of God, began to produce the living creatures whose offspring populate the land today. Within the sixth day of creation, God spoke it all into being. Of course it was good.

Then God began the final phase of creation. Where nothing had existed before God began to speak, now he begins the last phase of his creation, the creating of mankind, creatures to fulfill a specific function; to do something, and not just to be. To rule over fish and birds, sea and sky, domesticated animals and wild animals. Yet not just to do, also to be; to be in God's image, in the likeness of the Creator! Somehow, to represent him in his task of rulership on earth. How powerful and how privileged we are in our being. Even just being, we exercise this position, our purpose and worth are clear! Made in the image of God, male and female - in the image of God!

Not that our worth is in ourselves. In our genetic and spiritual code, we are fallen from that first closeness to God, yet our worth is nevertheless sourced in the Creator. We are validated as creatures, not by our work and status among ourselves; the boost derived from earthly kudos quickly fades, especially so in comparison to the rewards of seeing ourselves as created in the image of the creator God. When illuminated by that perfection, power, knowledge, strength and completeness, we see our worth is no less (and no more) than what we have received from the hand of the Creator. Our responsibilities and the duties of reality are real, but our adequacy is given us, and our purpose is ultimately in God, and according to the order which God created and continuously creates.

Simply put, creation exists and we also exist, brought into being by that same benevolent Hand. We are to rule over and accumulate knowledge of this creation; we are part of it, and yet we rule over creation, and bear the image and likeness of the One who originally created, and from whom all sprang in creative obedience! God has also placed eternity in our hearts. For these reasons and by reason of the redemptive initiative God takes towards us, God is our home even more so than this earth, after all, this creation is held together in God, and we too must find our eternal home in him.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bright Morning Star

Revelation 22:16
I Jesus ...am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.  (NIV) biblegateway.com

Morning Star I

Morning Star
Light of dawn
We greet Thee from afar.

Though dark the night of storm,
Gloom bound yet

In our hearts, Your light forms.
We hope that You come very soon.

Shadows loom

But hope quick,
With joy enters where dark was thick.
And lifts our gaze to Thee.

Morning Star II

Wind blown, snow blown
along in a hurry, people
curve and slope off
to work without an
upward gaze, but
we see a Star.

The Star

that rises above
the hustle and bustle of
dreary days (that seem to mar
the shape of our happiness).

The bright Morning Star

renews our hope,
that Glory days will come.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Daniel Ch2: Christmas Play

Based on the dream of Nebuchadnezzar - the Emperor of the Babylonian Empire in 600BC, as recorded by Daniel, in the Book of Daniel (Chapter 2)     (NIV) biblegateway.com


John:    A history teacher
Frank: A student                                                            
Statue:  Covered in colours from top to bottom: Head - Gold; Chest – Silver;  Belly and thighs  - Bronze; Legs - iron; Feet – Clay and iron mix / Brown
and grey
Gold actors: Walk like Egyptians across stage - to represent the golden age of Babylon

Silver fairy dancer: Dances across stage to represent the Medo-Persian Empire
Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie:  Dressed with Bronze coloured clothing to represent the conquering hero, Alexander the Great.                                                        
Mary and Joseph:  Dressed as Mary and Joseph, push the baby Jesus in a pram and stroll    onto the stage.

A fearful student walks out onto the stage, looking extremely worried. His friend, a history teacher,  greets him.

John:    Frank! How are you? 
Frank:    Oh, Hi Mister … (John).
John:    You look worried, what's the matter!
Frank:    Well tomorrow is 2012-12-21...
John:    Sooo?
Frank:    The Mayan Calendar ends on this date. You know, the end of the world!
John:    Hey, you really seem bothered!
Frank:   Yes, I'm really freaking out, just think... no more MacDonald's, no more exams, or  movies...and…no, no more College (Looks around the room and into the corners carefully) and, … no Christmas dinner to look forward to!  (howls/sobs)  You know, everything, all gone!
John:    I see what you mean!  Don’t worry! Come over here, I want to show you a 'Power Point' presentation that I've been working on.

John and Frank move over to one side of the stage. They go through the motions of preparing a computer, but the screen is the stage, and the presentation is done by actors.

Onto the stage walks a statue. The statue is covered in colours from top to bottom: Head - Gold; Chest – Silver; Belly and thighs  - Bronze; Legs – iron grey; Feet – Clay/Brown and  iron grey)  The statue’s clothes and skin are covered in bright body paint/Coloured wrapping paper/ other solutions?

John:    You see, this is how the history of the world was described to the Emperor king  of  the golden Babylonian empire, God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream. God’s servant, Daniel told him his dream and its meaning.
Frank:    Wow, look at that, a golden head!
John:     Yes, you see, the Neo-Babylonian Empire is represented by the statue’s golden head. This Empire was very powerful and very luxurious. It flourished in the entire civilized world at around 600 BC. Nebuchadnezzar was in charge, with Daniel explaining his dream.

As they speak, some actors in gold costume and / or paint walk like Egyptians across the stage.

Frank:    And the statue has a chest and arms of silver; what empire do they stand for?
John:     Uh huh, they match the Medo-Persian Empire, with King Cyrus the boss, in about 340 B.C.

A fairy with a silver blouse dances ballet across the stage to Asian type music.

John:    You'll have heard of the next Empire: The statue’s bronze belly and thighs represent Alexander the Great, and the Greek Empire he established in around 330 BC.
Frank:    Oh yes, I remember the film with Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie.

Farrell and Jolie,  warriors with drawn swords and bronze t-shirts, go rushing around the stage, sword fighting … and then they go off.

John:    Look at those iron legs. They represent the Roman Empire under the Caesars; notice how the feet are a mixture of iron and baked clay.
Frank:    Yes, why are the feet made of a mixture like that?
John:    Well Roman law and discipline were bringing order to a formerly wild and undeveloped known world, when it happened.
Frank:    What happened? And what has all this got to do with the end of the world?

While John and Frank are talking, Mary and Joseph, pushing a baby in a pram, stroll onto the stage. Mary stumbles and accidentally pushes the pram into the feet of the statue. The statue crashes to the ground and rushes off stage.

Mary picks up the baby and comforts Him, Joseph puts an arm around them both. 

John:    Well, in the King's dream, a rock was cut out by God, and sent crashing into the feet of the statue. The statue dissolved and was blown away in the wind, but the rock then grew into a huge mountain, and filled the whole earth!
Frank:    Alright, but what does it mean? And what does it have to do with the end of the world?
John:   Mmm, well let me quote to you from the book of Daniel, he said… aah, here it is, ”In the time of these kingdoms, God has set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed.  It will crush all the other kingdoms, and bring them to an end, but it will itself last forever!”

At this point, Mary and Joseph are joined by all the actors wearing something red and Christmassy and singing the Christmas carol / they say together: "We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fish and Birds

 Genesis 1 20-23 

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.       (NIV) biblegateway.com

When God created fish and birds,
He said, "let the waters teem with living creatures."
Isn't that just like God?
No half measures,
Just a short sentence,
But mark the creative genius within the words,
Have you seen Crayfish, Blower fish, and Star Fish,
Sea Anemone, Limpets, Plankton, and Killer Whale,
Dolphin, Seal, Sea Elephant, and Sharks in their teeming species?
Octopus, and Penguin, not to mention the variety of
Fish we actually eat,
Red Roman, Tuna, Hake, Salmon,
Don't forget Prawns!
Oh, and what about those itty bitty creatures, that build the giant coral reefs?
And Clown fish, Turtles, and sardines!

If one were to actually study the species and subspecies...
How long would your list of Teemers Be?

And God said, "Let birds fly above the earth, and across the expanse of the sky."
And how the Creative Word produced results!
See how they fly!
Hummingbirds, Kites, Eagles and Geese, Pelicans and Secretary Birds,
Falcons and Hawks, Swallows, Ducks and Wood Pecker birds,
Crows and Larks, Wood Chucks and Grouse,
From the sublime-ist of feathered fowl, to the most comical Parrot and zooming Shrike!

Some birds gallop, check out the Ostrich,
Some fish fly (flying fish) or climb trees (have you heard of them too?)

In all the teeming of fish and fowl,
In the song of Whale or
Hoot of Owl,
In all the tumbling, jumbled individuality,
or conformity of schools of fish and flocks of birds,
Don't miss the signature of,
The Creative Voice!
God, who calls it all into vivacious life and being!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Time, Purpose and Peace of Mind

Genesis 1v14-19
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.(NIV)biblegateway.com

So where did time come from? And where and why did the something that is our universe, our earth, our galaxies, our something from nothing, come into existence (as we do all tend to agree that it exists). And why is it so hard for us to accept as God's handiwork? It is such an uncannily beautiful and complex universe, physically existing and consisting of almost infinitely small elements in such incredibly tightly packed order and disorder; juxtaposed with the more comprehensibly sized, as well as the mind-bogglingly large!

We do well to scratch our heads and re-research the basics, and even atheistically scratch under the surface of accepted beliefs, so as to perhaps even refute the cannon of scripture, if that where possible, for such is the task of man. We might, as is our nature, turn this comfortable truth of scripture on all angles of it’s head to question, analyze and find clues to begin a new line of thought, shedding light on the origins and purpose of the cosmos.

However, according to Scripture, the sun, moon and stars were spoken into existence by God to provide light, and to mark the time and seasons for the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. Apart from their creation in the beginning of the book of Genesis, the bible also refers to stars with reference to the description of the function of "the righteous", who are to, “shine like stars in the universe.” And in scripture, that is the long and the short of the matter. 

This exquisite simplicity brings order and comfort to humankind, billeted in the heart of a safe and stable universe; humankind is carefully created in the image of their good shepherd, keeper, creator God, and specifically placed in the time zone of creation, a place exquisitely prepared for them to inhabit and rule over!

A Lesson in a Day at a School

Genesis 1: 11-13

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.       (NIV) biblegateway.com

A child sat and listened to the teacher droning on. “... Water sustains life, the rivers flow into the sea, the water from the sea and rivers evaporate and form clouds. The rain, and the dew, which condenses on the surface of the plants in the morning, water the plants. The plants keep the soil from eroding into the oceans. The plants then die and decompose into the soil, supplying nutrients for future generations of plants...and,” said the teacher, and continued in a monotone, “the plants are genetically programmed to reproduce themselves in an endless cycle. They do this quite miraculously, without forgetting their own characteristics. In fact this genetic ‘memory’ of plants is so clearly observable that the first great geneticist studied flowers to begin formulating the theory of genetics.”

As the boy flipped over the first few pages of the nature studies book on his desk, he saw the concise color illustrations of how God had spoken the universe into existence. First, the way God had separated: light from dark, water from clouds with sky, sea from land; and the boy also observed how God had established the cycle of growth and the reproduction of all sorts of plants, in day 1, 2 and 3 of creation.
Yawning and scratching the back of his head, the boy looked up at the teacher who seemed to have finished speaking and was closing her book and calling the class to pack up for the end of the lesson. "At last!", he thought.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Third day of creation

Genesis 1:8-10 
God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day. And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.       (NIV) biblegateway.com

Light shone through a strangely translucent layer of 'cloud' suspended above an area of open sky, which crisply and surprisingly was filled with fresh and clear, dry air. Underneath the layer of cloud, frozen and translucent, and beneath the empty bowl of sky, the surface of an unbroken and vast ocean bunched and plunged in waves that foamed on their crests, moving in massive disorder rather than in response to winds or currents-as-yet-unthought-of. Light streamed down onto the earth from beyond the cloud, sourced by turbulent, pyrotechnic events out in deep space.

God had, by absolute decree, named the expanse above the ocean – 'sky'. In the name he had also defined its properties, established its boundaries and promised its purpose, establishing a plan for its future, its maintenance, demise and renewal. God had spoken, invoking the power of his character exerting his great knowledge and understanding, his word had produced the shining bright breathable sky, where before had been vacuous nothingness!

When God spoke again, this time, there erupted such an apocalypse of volcanoes, such bazookas of targeted drilling, such explosive simultaneous creativity, that massive landmass appeared out of the water, blowing whale-like as it rose from the deep, rivers rupturing and spouting out of the uppermost heights, flowing and forming life supporting, open veins of clear, cold water. 

Steadily, and with increasing intensity, the land pushed up out of the water. The still hot and steaming landmass rose from the deep, the ponderous moaning rise of giant terrestrial hippopotamuses rising from watery beds of mud. And rivers of fresh running water found their way in a cycle of water from deep ocean, to vapor, to fresh river flow, and early morning dew watered the fertile earth.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Damp Sky

Genesis 1:5-7

 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.      (NIV) biblegateway.com
It wasn't that the water droplet was sentient. But, 'The Voice' had called and seeded the universe into existence and the water droplet so resonated with 'The Voice' that a pervasive genome of intelligence shone in and around and through the droplet.  Such was the dawn of time that the drop of water was like a child who first hears the sweetness of a bird's song, knowing that it is unprecedented in beauty. In the same way the light of the day, and the trembling velvet blackness of a starless and empty sky that night, moved the droplet into a wonder of questioning expectation. It was as if it were waiting for the relief breath of morning, when the earth would face again the light of day and breathe in the light again, at the dawn of the earth's second day.

While waiting in a flurry of expectation, the water droplet
skidded back and forth from the surface of the deep to the dank cloud blanket that reached upwards from the surface of the water, towards the night of an empty otherness. Yet, as the dawn extended for the first time into day, the dense fog like a heavy and moist cloud blanket was whisked upward, as a bed is unmade in the morning. 

As the thunder of God's voice reverberated in powerful command, the once ponderous and heavy vapors of the cloud now began to gain altitude and the light of day penetrated open sky below the cloud.

If the water droplet had had powers of speech, it would not have been able to explain what happened as, for the first time, it found an apparently permanent home above the liquid surface of the water and remained in the vapor. It was with some violence, that the water droplet had been extracted from, and sucked upward from the sticky and heavy attraction of the surface of the deep. Within the cloud, the water droplet flew up, partaking in a giddy swirling, a whizzing ecstasy of freedom which even threatened to absorb and disperse it entirely in a still looser gaseous state. 

Yet, surface tension prevailed and the droplet remained globular and higher and higher it raced, up and above, to the outermost heights and then, as if fatigued by the emptying expanse of light,  it dropped stone-like to the base of the cloud which hung unbroken and thick, now somewhat transparent in ice-like glassiness, high above the surface of the deep. There, if truly sentient, the water droplet would have observed the unbroken expanse of endless, deep water below, reflecting gray, in massive contemplation of the miracle of the somewhat watery and strengthening daylight!

Friday, July 30, 2010

From Eternity to Time

Genesis 1:1-4

The Beginning1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.     (NIV) biblegateway.com

An otherness which was marked by unknown characteristics in unknown parameters registered mostly blankness and mystery outside of time. But God worked at a creative task: considering, bringing forth and establishing, where chance and random force and counter force grayly pitter pattered on newly God wrought objects. On the earth, formless and void, the deep hid all from view beneath a cloak of darkness. 

An ocean of wetness tossed and swirled and sometimes more still, matched the emptiness beyond, the absence of universe which was soon to be made part of a new everything, produced by powerful and matchless decree. 

Without warning or foreshadowing, a voice split the atomic wilderness and while utterance rang out, a shard of light burst in anxious response, the first explosive violence of a spawning universe. The pyrotechnics unprecedented advanced out, morphing into galaxies, blowing forth in waves of surfing zygote stars and light prevailing over darkness. Matter and form flew out in endless competition. And the Spirit of God all the while watched as newly weighted forces and counter forces jockeyed to pull in the wild and free and empty 'rock and roll' of galaxies and suns. And the light blazed out, far and wide.

The matter in space twisted and strained and was set in place as if by invisible strings, placed in wild and free and constraned order. And God acted in time to spin and shape our planet and establish its new and untrod passage through space, so spinning its flight as to separate the light from darkness.