Day 2 - In the Beginning, There Was Recreation (Creation)
Dr. Ellen Davis, Professor of Old Testament
Genesis 1-2:4, Psalm 33, Romans 6:3-11, John 6:26-36
Quotes from the Last 24 Hours
"This was much a lot more interesting than I thought it would be." - student (after the plenary lecture)
"Even though the temple had been destroyed in Jerusalem, there was still the Sabbath...a temple in time." - Dr. Davis during plenary
""For the biblical writers, nothing important occurrs between the temples; the heart is the seat of knowledge." - Dr. Davis during plenary
Reflections on the Lecture
This morning's plenary discussion was focused around a reading of Genesis 1-2:4. Dr. Davis began by suggesting to the group that Genesis, in its essence, is a liturgical drama in poetic form. In other words, the account of creation needs to be read with an appreciation for both historical facts and human imagination. Historically, with the destruction of temple in Jerusalem in 586/7 BC, the Jewish people were exiled into Babylon; they were in a position of utter disorientation. However, instead of bowing to the power of Babylonian gods, the Jewish exiles began to write down a comprehensive narrative of God's creation, in order to be reminded of their unique calling. They had a future: to praise the One God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. Significantly, this act of praise is one which demands the involvement of one's imagination. God is Holy and must be understood by "lifting up our hearts", by being attentive to the many signs and many meanings of God's presence in our world. And in this respect, students and staff staying at Duke for these two weeks have plenty to be attentive to, spurred on by the biblical imagery so graciously presented by Dr. Davis. As it is written in Genesis, so it is, that today has been "very good".
Continuing with our theme of creation, we can say that the day's activities have helped nurture the seeds of faith in students, planted in Baptism. This is especially so in light of the Arts Villiage, whose first rotation took place in the afternoon. Both students and their mentors were able to participate in either pottery, dance, community art or religious drawing. Afterwards, students had a chance for some "re-creation". For me and a few others, this meant a tour thru Duke Gardens!! It was a perfectly pleasant way to change gears after doing a lot of thinking, to simply be still...and know that the Lord is God.