In the Beginning
A Family of Love
God saves the best for last.
In the opening chapters of Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we read about the creation of the universe. There is one God, not many gods. He is all-powerful, and he freely chooses to create the universe out of nothing. He lovingly creates the stars, the earth, and all the living creatures in it. Once all has been prepared, he creates the first humans, Adam and Eve, as his masterpiece.
Human beings are created to share in God’s love.
Out of all the earthly creatures God created, humans are unique. “God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Gen 1:27) This means that they are persons, beings with the capacity to know and to love, created for eternal union with him. This capacity to give of oneself in love is what makes us most like God.
Adam has a close friendship with God, yet he is “alone.”
In the garden, Adam is depicted as walking and conversing with God like we would talk with a friend. Despite this intimacy, God says, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen 2:18) As Adam names the animals, he recognizes that they are not his equal; they are not persons with an intellect and free will. God has placed in Adam a yearning to give of himself in selfless love, but Adam has not yet found an earthly companion with whom he can share such a love.
God creates Eve to be Adam’s wife.
When Adam sees Eve, he rejoices that he has at last found an equal. She too is a person made in God’s image and likeness, someone who is worthy of his love and who can love him in return. Their love can even bear fruit in a child, another person created for eternal union with God. As a family, Adam and Eve will grow in their love for each other and deepen their love for God as well.
Adam and Eve are united perfectly with God and each other.
Scripture describes Adam and Eve as being “naked without shame.” (Gen 2:25) This indicates that they enjoy a perfect unity, trusting one another fully. They know and love each other completely, without any selfishness or brokenness, and they also know and love God in the same way. They are happy because they are living out the call God placed in their hearts, to give of themselves in love.
This shows us God’s plan for the whole human race.
From the very beginning, God intended humanity to know and love him perfectly. He did not intend for us to grow in our relationship with him as isolated individuals, however, but as members of a family united by love. Adam was not expected to grow in his relationship with God all by himself, but with the help of Eve and their children. God’s plan was always that humanity would come to know and love him through the love and support of a family of faith.
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