For a larger view of either picture, please click on a thumbnail.
Script: Sunday 27, Time after Pentecost (Proper 22), Year B (excerpt)
Airdate: October 8, 2006
The Hebrew Bible reading for Sunday 27 in the time after Pentecost is part of the “other” story of creation, the one in Genesis, chapter 2. It tells a second story about the creation, including the creation of woman, Eve.
Who knows why the ancient Israelites saw fit to keep two accounts of creation in their scripture. It seems like Genesis 1 would have been enough. Though without Genesis 2 the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome would have been different. There, Michelangelo depicts the creation of Eve from Genesis 2. Many interpreters and some church traditions have used Genesis 2 as an excuse to regard women as second class citizens. Weren’t they made second, they argue? But consider for today — in honor of all the women listening to Sing For Joy — that the story of Eve in Genesis 2 can tell a different story. A story more flattering to Eve than to Adam. This is the story that Michelangelo seems to have captured on the Sistine Chapel ceiling. If you have a picture of that painting in a book, take a look at it. While Adam is fast asleep, unconscious, oblivious to the work of God, God makes woman. And yes, it is God who does it. In Genesis 1 male and female are created together. In Genesis 2, each is deliberately, intentionally created by God. Cheerful, faithful St. Francis, whose best friend was the woman St. Clare, would smile.