An "Eighth Day" Life
written by Rev Gary Heard

The church has decided to change its name: to "The Community of the Eighth Day". The symbolism and imagery is rich, impregnated with important insight, and
an indication of our future direction. This reflection expresses an aspect of that imagery. Watch for the church's emerging web presence.

The Biblical narrative begins with the seven days of creation: each day adding something of significance to the shape of the world in relationship to God. The final piece of creation was the addition of humanity, after which God rested. All the pieces were in place. On the eighth day, life began. Human beings were faced with the challenges of life: decision-making, relationships, resource-management, and the like. These eighth-day decisions continue today.

But Adam and Eve had one great advantage over us: they lived in a perfect world. They spoke to God as He was amongst them in the garden. Creation was unaffected by sin: pure and balanced. With the wisdom God had given, they were sufficiently equipped for the task of caring for the land and all its inhabitants. Today we live in a world marked by inequity: distribution of resources is skewed beyond belief, much of the world has no access to clean water, disease and pollution abound. But these eighth day decisions continue to be our responsibility.

Far from being a futile pursuit, the restoration of creation is highlighted at the end of the Bible, where a new creation is envisaged: Eden restored. Though humankind has considerably distorted and destroyed our planetís ecology, decisions made today have benefits for the future, as well as in the present. It is the same with relationships: though past decisions may have undermined or destroyed relationships, better decisions today can work towards repairing them.

To live in the eighth day is to take the challenges of life seriously and responsibly, not to walk away from them because the challenges are great. Every challenge which awaited the first human beings after the seven days of creation, has been passed on from generation to generation, and now rests with us.

To be a godly community of the eighth day, we need to accept and assume this responsibility in partnership once more with God. Even the small part we play makes a difference.

September 14, 2003
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