Fertile Journey Through Genesis: Chapter 1

In the beginning God created a self-sustaining planet. Each part of the creation motif is a building block of sustenance.  The first two days God puts the elements in place.  Day three God invites the earth to produce vegetation and this vegetation is given the ability to reproduce through its seed. Day five God invites the waters to bring forth life and commands the fish and the birds to multiply.  Day six God invites the earth to produce animal life.  The first six days God creates the perfect environment for plants and animals to live in and reproduce. And his final act on the sixth day is to create humanity as a reflection of God's own image and to bless them also with the ability and calling to be fruitful and multiply.

There are so many ways to approach the creation story of Genesis from the perspective of infertility.  It is easy to be angry, as it is a story of fruitfulness, fruitful blessing, and purpose.  But, it can also be quite encouraging as it reveals that God ultimately desires for all creation to be fruitful, thus infertility is a burden or a break from those original purposes. Infertility does not seem to be a part of God's original design.

In Romans where we are told that the earth groans in expectation for the children of God to be revealed, we are reminded of how the fall not only introduced sin into humanity, but brokenness into creation.  So we could view infertility as a consequence to the fall.  From an evolutionary perspective we can see how small changes in our genetics over time would hinder the development of an embryo in some cases.  We can also argue that our corporate sin of not caring for the environment have had consequences to our own fertility.

Others would perhaps argue that infertility is the completion of that design.  The command was to "fill the earth" and perhaps we have already completed that task, or at least the need has been reduced.

If we want to come at this passage with an approach of promise or hope for fertility still to come, we can recognize that God is very orderly.  Prior to creating the vegetables, the birds, the people, God builds the perfect environment in which they will reproduce.  Likewise, God may still be at work creating the perfect environment in our own wombs or lives for the child that is to come.

We might also ask the question of what does it really mean to be fruitful? God was fruitful in creating. We are made in God's image and perhaps our fruitfulness isn't to be defined in such a limited manner as biological reproduction.  Perhaps God is calling each of us to be fruitful in creating a better planet and being Christ's hands and feet in preparing and making way for the Kingdom of God?  Could the creation story be a shadow of the new creation story of the church?  Could it be that God is calling us to help give birth to more who reflect the image of Christ in the world?

Chapter one is the introduction to a book whose theme is fertility.  Genesis is the introduction to a collection of books that perhaps also have a theme of fertility.  The Bible is a complete story from beginning to end.  It has many themes and connections can be made between the Torah, the History, the Prophetic Writings, the Gospels, and even the Epistles.  The Bible is also our stories connecting with God's story.  As we journey through Genesis in search of meaning in the midst of our own struggles with infertility, hopefully we will each be able to discover how our story fits with the Biblical story and God's story for the universe.


 

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