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Reflections on Genesis 1:26-2:3 part 3


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"God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it" (Genesis 2:3)

Reflections on Genesis 1:26-2:3 part 3


Man and Woman Equal in Christ


Note, in verse 27, the leap from the singular “man” and “him” to “them”: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them”. Man and woman are one in nature, one in dignity just as in the Godhead the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in essence and in dignity though each has his specific role. In Christianity there is no room for male or female superiority and therefore for women’s or men’s lib. These are thought patterns that belong to the world, not to Christians. It is surprising how subtly worldly thoughts can poison Christian communities. We submit one to another because all are in the image and likeness of God and are one in Christ:
As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3, 27, 28)
God speaks to man to reveal to him his true self and his role in creation. He blesses them, exhorts them and informs them of the abundance he has given them. Everything said and done is in the interests of man. God has given of himself, his image, his likeness, he has given everything necessary for happiness. He has only man in mind, not himself. God is man-centred so that man can become God-centred for man’s own wellbeing and happiness. This is love, one exists in relation to the other; one is in the other. God has invested all in man, including the life of his Son. Jesus Christ also emphasises the reason why he came, that man can become reconciled with God, happy in God, joyous in God, peaceful in God, free in God:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (John 14:27)
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)
I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. (John 17:13)
But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31)
For freedom Christ has set us free. (Galatians 5:1)
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22, 23)
The seventh day was a day of rest for God and for us. The constant rhythm of work during the six days is interrupted and with it comes a sense of the interruption of time and a natural entrance into the eternal allowing the strengthening of the relationship with God which transcends time itself. We need the day free from work in order to take all this in, meditate on it and let is seep down deep into our spirit. We are told that the return of the son of man will be unexpected and that one will be taken the other left behind because too involved in worldly occupations all of which are legitimate:
so too will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left. Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24: 39-42)
The day of rest revitalises that sense of vigilance and rejuvenates the spirit. We are sometimes so involved in normal everyday activities that our spiritual alertness grows faint and thus we are deprived of the beneficial effect of the Word of God in us
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. (Matthew 13:22)
To revitalise our spirit and to reinforce the relationship between our spirit and the Holy Spirit by which we are guided into all truth is the main reason why there is a day of rest, when all mundane activities cease. On this day it is the sacred duty and privilege for Christians to meet together for that vital encounter with the risen Lord in the context of the liturgy and for mutual edification. That is the meaning of the Eucharistic encounter and the informal gathering for tea and coffee afterwards. Both are linked, the love of God flowing into our spirit and spilling out towards others. We receive the Lord of creation in the Eucharist and share him, all together, in an informal gathering afterwards.
‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.”’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive (John 7:37-39)

"Rivers of living water"; in the church there are too many lakes and too few rivers. The encounter with the risen Lord is certainly for each one of us to treasure but if that does not overflow to reach others in the community and outside of it there is something terribly wrong.

Robert Walsh

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Genesis 1:26-2:3 Questions for Leaders
Genesis 1:26-2:3 Text

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