We had a wonderful service of Lessons and Carols at St. Stephen’s UMC on Dec. 31. We had four readings that I pulled together from the traditional lessons and carols liturgy. But, rather than reading straight from a translation, I pieced them together and reworked them into paraphrases of sorts. A few people asked for them, so I decided that I would throw them up here, one at a time, Wednesday through Saturday. The first one, which is an adaptation of Genesis 1 interspersed with an adaptation of John 1, is below. Check back each day for the rest of them!
Before there was anything else and when the world had no form at all, when it was all a dark and empty wasteland;
The Word was there.
The very spirit of God, the essence of the creator was hovering, ready to begin a new thing;
And the Word was there.
So then, do you know what God did? God said, “let there be light,” and there was light!! God saw that the light was good and God divided up the light times and called those day and the dark times and called those night.
And the light and the Word immediately took a liking to each other.
And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.
So then God got back to work because there was plenty to do. So God said something about expanses and waters and the universe and galaxies and stardust and the universe began to take its shape;
And there was the Word, right with God in the midst of it all.
Then God started arranging and pushing around water and shifting tectonic plates and spewing lava out of volcanoes and land and sea started to take shape;
And God said it was very good, and the Word never, ever forgot this truth.
So God started empowering the Earth to do incredible things. And out of its own goodness and bounty creation started to create! And there were flowers and trees and grasses and all sorts of things springing up.
And God and the Word continued to fall in Love with what they saw.
So God started coaxing stars and planets in the sky and the light and the dark started to take shape as day and night and there was a moon and there were galaxies and the creating hasn’t ever stopped, even to this day.
And the Word was there, because the Word is so much more than simply with God, the Word is God.
Then the animals started to take shape! Fish in the sea and creatures on the earth, birds in the sky, more than you can count! And God commissioned all these creatures to be fruitful, to flourish and multiply and grow and change and do great things.
And this might surprise you, but the Word delighted in this part, because the word is the Light of Life.
Then God and the Word got to talking, and thinking, and dreaming, and decided to create someone in their own image. Can you imagine? A creature in the very image of God! So humanity was born. And they said, let’s give these humans special powers and abilities and responsibilities, let’s make them responsible for the other creatures and the plants and all of this. It was, and is, a whole lot of power to hand over. But we humans had our call from God, to take special care of this creation.
And the Word immediately fell in love with us.
And God looked out at all of this and said, “this is so, so good!”
And the Word knew that this was true. The Word also knew that there would be troubles. But that the darkness would never, ever win.