In the Beginning

For the past few months, I’ve been working on a book of stories for liberal religious kids. Just for fun, I thought I’d post a draft of one of the stories on this blog. Obviously, this story comes from the book of Genesis, up to chapter 2 verse 4 (remember that there are two stories of the creation of humanity in Genesis, and I have only included one of those stories here).


In the Beginning

Copyright (c) 2005 Dan Harper

Once upon a time that had no time, a being lived in a place that wasn’t really a place. This being did have a name, but the being’s real name cannot be spoken. Because of this, it’s easiest to call the being “God.”

Before time began, before you could even say there was a before, or an after, God looked around, and saw that nothing had any shape or form to it. All around God, it was just nothingness. Or perhaps there was water, and there was wind, and the wind was God. Either that, or God seemed like wind and all around God was everything that ever was, or is, or could be, but it was all mixed up together as if it were a vast ocean.

God decided to separate out light from darkness, and when God did that, time began. God looked at the light and the darkness, decided that they were good. God called the darkness “Night,” and the light “Day,” which meant there now was evening and morning, and that was the first day of all time. But no one knows how long that first day lasted, for in the beginning time did not flow in the same way it does now.

Eventually God wanted more than just light and darkness, night and day. God separated out some of the water, and made it into a big dome that arched above the rest of the water. God called the big dome the “Sky.” Time moved on, evening came, morning came, and another day passed. But no one knows how long that second day lasted.

When it was time for another day to begin, God gathered together the water that lay under the sky, which meant there was room for dry land to come forth. God called the dry land “Earth.” God asked the dry land to grow plants, and plants grew. All kinds of plants, small plants with seeds, and plants that have spores instead of seeds, and trees, and every kind of plant grew up out of the Earth. It must have taken a long time for all the plants to grow. But time still hadn’t settled down into a regular rhythm yet. Evening came, and morning came, but how long did they last? The plants grew and grew, for a long, long time, but it only took a day. That was the third day.

On the fourth day, lights appeared in the dome of the sky, a big bright light, a smaller dimmer light, and lots and lots of tiny little lights. God put all the lights in the dome of the sky. The big, bright light came out in the day. When evening came, the smaller, lesser light came out, and so did all the stars. These lights in the sky lit up the earth, and helped to separate out light from darkness because now there could be days and nights, and seasons, and years. God looked at everything, and felt that everything was good. No one knows how long that fourth day took, but at last it was done.

The next morning, which was the fifth day, living creatures started to live in the waters, and birds started to live in the skies. God created every kind of animal that lives in the water, and every kind of winged creature that flies in the sky. God told them that they could have babies on their own. God told the sea creatures to fill up the waters, and the birds to settle down on earth. It took one day to create all these creatures, but no one knows how long that fifth day lasted. For all we know, the fifth day and night lasted so long we would call it a million years.

On the sixth day, God decided that the land needed more creatures, so God told the earth to bring forth animals. God made all kinds of animals, from mosquitoes to tigers. God liked all the animals.

God made human beings, too. We human beings say that God made us look just like God, that women and men were created to be the exact image of God. Just like the animals, God told the human beings that they could have babies on their own. And God said to the first human beings, “Because I made you in my image, you are responsible for all the creatures in the sea, and all the creatures who live on land. Rule over them wisely.”

After that, God told all the animals, and the human beings, that they could eat the plants that had come forth from the earth. “Everything that has the breath of life,” said God, “shall eat plants for food.” That was the end of the sixth day. It must have been a very long day, but once again no one knows just how long that day lasted.

At last, God felt that everything was finished. Now there was light and darkness; and the dome of the sky; and the oceans and earth with green plants; and sun and moon and stars; and creatures of the water and of the air; and creatures who lived on dry land including human beings.

But not quite everything was finished. On the seventh day, God made a different kind of day. God blessed this seventh day and rested, and God admired light and dark and day and night, the sky and the water, the plants growing on dry land, the sun and the moon and the stars, all the creatures in the water and all the birds in the air, the animals and the human beings. Some people say that God liked everything existed, but there needed to be a reason for everything to exist, and that was why God made the seventh day.

Finally, on that day of rest, God felt everything was finished.