One day when I was a preschool teacher, I had a little boy in my class who was sitting at circle time and he interrupts attendance to make an announcement. “My grandpa died.” I said “Oh that’s very sad. I’m sorry to hear that.” I was trying to tread very carefully because his family were Jehovah Witnesses and I have no idea what they teach regarding death, heaven, and salvation. I wasn’t looking to get into this conversation with a four-year-old in the school setting. So, I began to move on in the attendance for the morning. He then proceeds to interrupt again, “Why do we die?” I knew where this was going. “What happens when we die?” I thought to myself “Oh boy, I was in trouble”. He then says, “My mommy says we turn into ashes.” Ok. I could handle this. So I confidently replied, “Yes, she’s right we turn to ashes.” The conversation continued, “Why do we turn to ashes?” I thought about this question could I say because that is how God created us or should I quote the Lion King with something about the circle of life?
Then thank God he said, “I think that is how God created us.” What a wise four-year-old. I agreed with him and he seemed happy with the conversation and dropped it and I was able to move on with the day. That is how God not only created us but created all life to be born to evolve, change, and live and then to die returning the very beginnings from which the earliest life was set into motion. But his questions that day got me to thinking about the creation accounts of the Bible again. It got me curious and thinking about the days of creation. God sure did a lot in six days.
In my curiosity, I was left with more questions. I felt very much like that little boy. Well how did creation happen in just 6 days. How were days counted when the sun was not created until day 4? God’s time seems to be very different than our time in other ways so wouldn’t the counting of time at creation also be different than our understanding of time? Then I thought about biology, physics, and science in general which shows that the Earth evolved and life changed so much over the course of millions and billions of years. Well that doesn’t seem to fit into 6 days very well.
This is when I came across Day-Age Theory or Day-Age Creationism which means, “an interpretation of the creation accounts in Genesis which holds that the 6 days referred to in the Genesis account of creation are not ordinary 24 hour days, but are much longer periods … from thousands to billions of years”. The idea is that our God is a God who takes his time. God does not rush through anything. He takes his time to create just as he takes his time to answer prayers and to mold life in this world.
There was no need to rush through the acts of creation and this is evident all through nature such as with the fossilized remains of life from millions and billions of years ago. We see this in the way that rivers have shaped this world creating the beauty of geological structures like the Grand Canyon. We see this in the evolution of animals from the earliest versions of themselves to the versions of the species that we know today. We see this in the birds of the skies who have developed differing shaped beaks over millions of years designed to eat differing types of food. It is so obvious that God took his time in creation and perhaps is still taking his time.
Perhaps creation took much longer than 6 days. And perhaps in those 6 days just the beginnings of Creation were set into motion. John Polkinghorne, a 20th century theologian, Physicist, and Anglican Priest postulates, “God didn’t produce a ready-made world. The Creator has done something cleverer than this, making a world able to make itself”. I believe this to be so true because when you look at humanity: it’s creativity, it’s curiosity, it’s drive; you see the beauty of God’s work in the continued act of creation its self. It didn’t take an easy 6 days as if creation itself were something upon an assembly line in a factory. It was something that took thought, time, and care and it happened over the course of billions of years and I believe it is still happening to this day.
For those of us who subscribe to a hybrid model of creation and evolution, we believe that God is in the acts of evolution and that in creating evolution God created all that was needed for a world that would continue to create. I believe that in humanity, he gave us the resources, the intelligence, the creative minds to create masterpieces of art and to study and reflect upon the masterpiece of his continued creative power in this world.
Remember our God did not rush through creation, that is evident all around us. But rather he took his time carefully bringing together the elements, the molecules, and the biological processes to bring about the world that we know and love. Remember that just as we heard of God taking six days to create the earth, 2 Peter reminds us, “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day”.
So, though this sermon series has come to an end and I have really just brushed the surface of this debate. I urge you each to search, to utilize your God gifted curiosity to approach this debate with open minds searching for the evidence of God’s creative hand at work through all the religious and educational disciplines. Remember that the fullest picture of God that we can ever attain is that which comes from study and observation of the world and our scriptures, scientifically and spiritually. Remember, all avenues hold different parts to the story of where we came from. And know that others will always barrage you with their opinions that they hold as fact and you may never be able to change their minds. But you can search for the words of God and the message of God for yourself, for your own life understanding, just by being open to the possibilities of the mystery of God.
 Christianity Today.
 John Polkinghorne, 20th century Theologian, Anglican Priest, and Physicist.
 2 Peter 3:8, NRSV.
(Based on Genesis 1:26-2:4 and 2 Peter 3:1-9)