June 7: God’s creation — Family faith formation at home


Invite various persons to bring a designated item and use this liturgy to begin your time of learning together. 

One:    Come, let us gather around and see how the Spirit will nurture our faith today.

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Christ, the light of the world.
(Place a candle on a table in your gathering place and light it.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:   The Love of God, who came to meet us in the world.
(Place a cross on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Wisdom of God, who speaks through the Scriptures.
(Place an open Bible on a table in your gathering place.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    The Grace of God, who proclaims we are children of God.
(Place a symbol of baptism – a bowl of water, a seashell – on a table in your gathering space.)

All:      Who is with us?
One:    Our risen Lord, who meets us at the table.
(Place a symbol of communion – a plate and cup, a loaf of bread, grapes – on a table in your gathering space.)

One:    We are here, Holy Spirit, ready for your leading.

God sightings and prayer offerings 

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something — a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer. 

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world. [Invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier.] We bring our prayers to you, prayers for… [invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture: Genesis 1:1-2:4a

Read the Scripture aloud the first time using the New Revised Standard Version or the Common English Bible.

For the second reading of Scripture, watch the poem, “God’s Trombone,” written by James Weldon Johnson, narrated by James Earl Jones and illustrated by Joan C. Gratz. James Weldon Johnson was a poet, a novelist, a lawyer and a leader in the NAACP in the early 20th century and the Harlem Renaissance. He is also the author of “Life Every Voice and Sing.”

  • Where do you see similarities and differences between the text and Johnson’s interpretation?
  • In what ways does this interpretation invite you to see, hear and think about the text in new ways?



Connecting through story

Watch and listen to choral anthem, “Look at the World,” by John Rutter.

  • Where do you see and hear the first creation story in this interpretation of Rutter’s music?
  • What did it make you think and/or feel?
  • Where is God is this?


Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue

  • In what ways does nature invite you to think about or encounter God?
  • What are your thoughts and/or feelings when you are in the midst of creation?
  • What words come to mind when you encounter God in creation?
  • Why do you think we sometimes can more clearly see or encounter God in creation?
  • In Genesis 1:26-27, humans are created in the image of God.
    • What do you think that means for who we are?
    • For how we act?
    • For how we see other people?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion

  • There are two creation stories in Scripture. The first one is Genesis 1:1-2:4a where the account is very orderly and precise with each day marking a new aspect of creation. In this first story humanity, in general, is created in the image of God. The second creation story is from 2:4b-3:24 where God has human attributes (walks and talks) and where we first encounter the story of Adam, Eve and disobedience to God. We often, without thinking much about it, combine the two. However, for today’s lesson we will focus on the first creation story.
  • In this story, God gives a clear order to creation. This is seen in both biology and narrative. There is a biological rhythm that provides nature’s normative patterns and a narrative rhythm and repetition so that someone hearing it orally would remember and assimilate it more easily (e.g., “There was evening and there was morning.”)
  • Creation is good. Note the recurring phrase– “And God saw it was good” – that moves through the days.
  • The essence of God is good and, we believe, that God does not contradict God’s divine goodness. This theological understanding leads to a rejection of assigning to natural disasters the terminology “an act of God.”
  • Because we believe God is the creator of the universe and all that is within it, we believe all people, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or religious creed, are created in the image of God. This theological understanding, the imago Dei, has grave implications for how we see ourselves and how we see one another. Even those whom we would label “enemy” are created equally in the image of God. The question becomes: How do our relationships reflect a belief that the “other” also bears the image of God?

As a family, take a sabbath walk through nature noticing and discussing with one another the places you notice the majesty, the beauty and the presence of God. After each occasion, say together, “God created it and it is good.”


Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

REBECCA DAVIS is the associate professor of Christian education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. A teaching elder and certified educator, she served congregations for over 20 years before moving into academic teaching. In addition to teaching and mentoring students, her passion is child advocacy and ministry.