New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.


Today’s Reflection

All stories create a world and invite the listener, reader, or viewer into that world. The ancient Hebrew storytellers from whom we receive the Creation narratives knew how worlds come into being: They are spoken into being. When God says the word light, there is light. When God says the words land and sun and moon and stars and plants and creatures and human beings, each appears on the scene.

As the storyteller speaks the words of a story, we listeners see those places, characters, and objects in our mind’s eye. Instead of saying, “Let there be . . .  ,” God just as easily could have said, “Once upon a time. . . .”

—Michael E. Williams, Spoken into Being: Divine Encounters Through Story (Upper Room Books, 2017)

Today’s Question

When did you realize there are two accounts of Creation in the Bible? Why do you think this is so?
Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

God said, “Let the earth grow plant life: plants yielding seeds and fruit trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind throughout the earth.” And that’s what happened. The earth produced plant life: plants yielding seeds, each according to its kind, and trees bearing fruit with seeds inside it, each according to its kind. God saw how good it was.
—Genesis 1:11-12 (CEB)

Prayer for the Week

Gracious God, thank you for being the original author of the greatest story ever told. Guide us as we learn to tell our own stories and discover how they connect with your story and with the story of humanity. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Join us for Light from Afar: Experiencing Advent Around the World, an online journey that celebrates the diversity of Advent traditions. Learn more and receive a discount on registration here.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.


  • Jill Posted November 12, 2023 6:30 am

    I don’t think I ever realized there are two accounts of the Creation story in the Bible. Are there?
    A bit baffled by this.
    Maybe my brain is working quite right, a bit emotional this morning. Was reading elsewhere about a way to interpret “blessing” – when reading Numbers 6:24-26. The writer speaks about “blessing” as being “kept”…what a beautiful picture of being “kept” by my Heavenly Father. Made me think of Natalie Grant’s song “Held”…and then the next thing I know, tears are streaming down my face. To be “held” by my Father…blessed assurance.
    This past week was very tiring and I am hoping to re-balance myself today. Dad, Becky and Don arrived late Thursday evening, due to some airline maintenance issues. I asked my aunt and uncle to pick them up, as they had offered to. I was able to get to bed much earlier than had I picked them up. Yesterday I spent the day with my friend who had double knee replacement on Wednesday. Her husband and daughter went to Ohio State to be with the youngest daughter on senior day. I am grateful my friend trusted me and felt comfortable with me being with her. She has a long road ahead of her. The pain has overwhelmed her at times. It is exhausting just for her to get up from lying down – to use the bathroom. A friend brought by dinner and I made a meal for her and her family for today. Her sister came in the evening and spent the night with her.
    Dad is coming over today following church to eat lunch and watch football. He is very excited to see me and catch up. I will try to do some raking, when I get home from church. Mild temps here and lots of sunshine – so grateful for it.
    Sunday blessings to all.

  • Rusty Posted November 12, 2023 7:56 am

    Jill, thank you for sharing the association between “blessing” and “keeping” and being held by our Father. During the night last night I felt a need to be held by Jesus and that image helped get me through. This new insight you have shared is perfect for me today. Again, thank you.

    As for today’s question, I think the two creation stories the question refers to are two different accounts of God’s creation of human beings and some of the details surrounding their creation. In the first account, Genesis 1:26-31, God begins by saying “Let us make mankind [the word used in Hebrew is adam] in our own image.” This is before any specific mention of the Garden of Eden, although in this passage references human beings having dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and every other living thing that moves on the earth. The passage doesn’t relate a sequential creation with the man first being followed by the woman. Rather, it simply says, “male and female he created them.”

    It is in the second account, beginning at Genesis 2:4 that we learn of God forming man from the dust on the ground and breathing life into him. In the second account we read about God planting a garden in Eden, putting Adam there to till it, and instructing Adam about being free to eat from any tree in the garden except the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then, beginning at Genesis 2:20 we learn of Adam’s needing a partner and ultimately God’s creating Eve from the rib of the man.

    The accounts can certainly be read as consistent, but there does seem to be two of them. My understanding of the reason for the presence of both has to do with the how
    God chose to tell the story to his people. There were creation stories known and spoken about by people living in the Middle East when Genesis was written. What distinguishes the biblical account is the person of God and his love for his people. I like to think of it as almost like a prefiguring of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. “You have heard ‘that’, but I tell you ‘this’!”

  • robert moeller Posted November 12, 2023 2:27 pm

    I agree that there are two creation stories. Made in God’s image, “ male and female “ vs Adam first then Eve. That God created us is the most important! I also think this helps different audiences. God is both matriarchal and patriarchal.
    Love the “kept” – blessing understanding. God has the whole world in His/Her hands. Thank You , Lord.
    Hard to imagine double knee replacement. Yes, indeed, very challenging, prayers for her recovery and for pain relief.
    Glad Jill’s family arrived safely. Great idea coming well before Thanksgiving when many people will travel.
    A very busy week, a call to the plumber tomorrow, we have no hot water. Meetings, periodontist, Thanksgiving food basket, church fellowship meeting prior to church conference, both joyous and a sad day remembrances. The pain is gone, the memory remains .
    Temps in the teens last night, it will hit the high 30s today.
    Had a great long walk in the woods yesterday.
    Blessings to all, be “kept” by the Lord!

  • Ally Posted November 12, 2023 9:26 pm

    I took Old Testament hermeneutics as a seminarian and learned that OT scholars opine that Genesis gives 2 accounts of creation, the “Priestly” account and the Yahwist account. I had never thought of it as 2 stories before. Rusty gives a very good explanation of how there are 2 stories.
    To be held and kept by God is something I needed to hear and feel in a week filled with disappointment and brick walls regarding trying to buy a car and get some insurance. I feel really discouraged right now.

  • Rusty Posted November 12, 2023 9:51 pm

    Hi Ally – You’re a seminarian. How cool! Appreciate the added detail about the Priestly and Yahwist sources. Really helpful.

    Was thinking today about you and your car situation. So sorry to hear about your challenges and discouragement but thanks for the update. More prayers on the way.

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