The Comedy of Creation (Genesis 1)

Photo by K. Morrow  

Photo by K. Morrow
 

One of the things that humor often needs is knowledge of context.  The picture here isn't amusing unless you're familiar with the original Mona Lisa.  Without knowledge of Bill O'Reilly Stephen Colbert isn't funny.  No, Stephen Colbert is still is funny regardless…. But back to my point.

Much of the comedy of the Bible is, actually, a playful, stinging critique of whatever powers that be that presently surrounded Israel (and, in the New Testament, Jesus/the Church) and threatened her (his/her) existence.  There was always someone.  Inspired by the Spirit, and empowered by laughter, the Israelites - and, later, Jesus followers - were not only able to bring down the big boys, but rose to find who they truly were, and who God really was.  Their stories and teachings are often satires of the stories and teachings of the status quo.  So much of the BIble is actually better suited to Saturday Night Live than the History Channel.  (!)

"Land and Sea" by Steve Charman

"Land and Sea" by Steve Charman

The first story of our scriptures, the creation account in Genesis 1, is a case in point.  If taken simply as a story or didactic recording of how the universe was created, it seems totally devoid of humor, beautifully poetic, and scientifically troubling.  How could the Bible claim the world was created, really, in seven days?  For many folks this strange and seemingly emphatic claim is enough to drive them away from the Bible and the spiritual life it nurtures right off the bat.  

Mr. Cool by Rachel Hinman

Mr. Cool by Rachel Hinman

But when we consider that scholars say Genesis 1 became a sacred story to the Israelites as they sat in refugee camps in faraway Babylonia after they were thrown off their land in the great Babylonian invasion of the early 6th century BC, and the creation story of the Babylonians that presently surrounded them, called the Enuma Elish, was a very violent, gory tale about the battle amongst the pantheon of gods for control of the heavens, a different understanding, appreciation, and even delight in God's almost over-the-top terse and pithy minimalist approach comes into view.  God isn't just the One True Creator, he's the Utlimate in Cool.  Yeah!

And who wouldn't want to put one's allegiance in, and strive to always better imitate, that??  (Especially if the more "simply being" approach, in our own personal experience, is how creation really happens?)

Here is an excerpt of my monologue on the Comedy of Genesis 1, performed at the FAKE Gallery in Los Angeles on November 15, 2013.  Enjoy!  (Please note:  this is a work in progress; I already plan to change the joke at the end about government workers to refer solely to Congress.  'Nuff said.)