Creation Stories: Earth Day 2013
A REFLECTION BY MATTHEW FOX
from Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
There are hundreds of creation stories in the Bible. The oldest creation story is not Genesis, it’s Psalm 104. If you go back to Psalm 104, it’s very evolutionary: it goes through all the creatures that are created and humans come way at the end. The Book of Wisdom has a creation story, too. The Song of Songs is a creation story about the recreation of the Garden of Eden through human love. And of course the New Testament has several creation stories – the first chapter of John is a creation story, the infancy narratives are creation stories. It’s as if we never get enough creation stories. And, that’s true! The creation story is so primal to any human tribe’s survival. After all, this is what indigenous people around the world taught their children: where they come from, the creation story.
Now from science we have a new creation story, which is very alluring and very exciting. It’s not about deposing all the other wisdom stories about creation that humanity has gathered, but it certainly supplements it. It offers a real universal view because it’s beyond any particular religion, ethnicity, nation and so forth. As we’re struggling as a species to come together as a tribe, it provides us our basic framework, because it’s from creation stories that ethics derive. Today’s creation story from science is that we come from 14 billion years of organic unfolding of the universe and are connected physiologically with every being in the universe. We all share the same atoms and the same molecules. That’s truly significant and important at this time in history. We’re all kin, we’re all interdependent.
And that’s the basis of compassion, which was Jesus’ ultimate teaching.