THE WORLD’S BEGINNING
In the beginning God created the universe and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth
There was a beginning. It came by command of the Self Existent One (‘gyur med rang-grub dkon mchog gjig pu rje), who is God. His word was the seed cause (rgyu) that made the world come into being at a definite moment in time.
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
Our Planet Earth is known by astronomers as the watery planet. And from space, because it is watery, it is seen to be blue – as was shown in the famous photograph taken by astronaut William Anders in 1968. At the beginning it was shapeless and empty, but God’s Spirit was there and He would be giving more commands.
And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5)
དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་འོད་ཀྱི་མིང་ལ་ཉིན་མོ་ཞེས་བཏགས། མུན་པའི་མིང་ལ་མཚན་མོ་ཞེས་བཏགས། མཚན་མོ་དང་ཉིན་མོ་བྱུང་བ་དེ་ནི་ཉི་མ་དང་པོའོ།
God gave command for light to be made. And ever since that first day, it had been possible to see that good light which God made (John 1:5).
Then, after that on Days Two to Six, God gave other commands. On Day Two, he made clouds to separate from the ocean, with sky in between. On Day Three he made dry land and plants; on Day Four the sun, moon and stars; on Day Five he made birds and fishes; on Day Six land animals, both wild and tame. And finally, before resting from his work, he made humans to whom he could speak and explain how he had made the world as a place for them to live in and have families.
(The whole story of Days 1 to 7 of Creation is told in Genesis 1:1-2:4a. See separate post)
Brian Tshering remembers how, when he was at Cambridge 60 years ago, he heard other students talking excitedly; they had learned from their tutors about the Big Bang Theory for the origin of the universe. That idea had first been suggested 25 years beforehand in 1929, when the scientist Edwin Hubble had been able to measure the nature of the light coming from stars. The light from distant stars told him that they were moving away. And the light coming from those which were still more distant told him that they were moving away even faster. From this he had concluded that the universe was expanding; that it had started with something like an explosion from a very small beginning. This Big Bang Theory for the origin of the universe at a definite moment in time remains today the explanation that is most generally accepted by scientists.
Next time we shall read how the Lord God made a perfect home for humans on his earth.