A Year in the Bible: Week One - Creation
The creation narratives in the Bible are contained in the first eleven chapters of Genesis. There are four main sections within the creation narratives: Creation, Fall, Flood, and Tower. (See Max Anders' 30 Days to Understanding the Bible: Unlock the Scriptures in 15 Minutes a Day, Creation Era Expansion)
This Sunday, our sermon text comes from Genesis 1:1-2:4a. There is a basic pattern in this first creation narrative of creating containers (space/buckets/units) and then filling those containers. V3-5 God creates day and night (container). V14-19 God creates the sun, moon and stars to fill the day and night V6-8 God creates sky and water (container). V20-23 God creates birds, fish, and sea creatures to fill the sky and water. V9-13 God creates dry land and vegetation (container). V24-27 God creates living creatures to fill the dry land and eat the vegetation. Three containers created, then elements to fill those containers in the same order as containers were created. This narrative pattern is helpful for us to remember and serves as a creative resource for repeating this story from generation to generation. I can image ancestors around fires telling these stories to grandchildren.
These scriptures also emphasize God's creative nature. As Christians we believe that all things come from God. We believe that God created all that is and has been. We also believe that God is still creating even today. If God's nature is to create, then God will never stop creating. This creative nature from God is also found in our souls as we are created in the image and likeness of God. When we create, we join God in a natural union with our Creator. God's love for creation is shown in God's desire to be in relationship with us. We are image bearers of God. This is an enormous responsibility as human beings. We will see throughout the creation sections (creation, fall, flood, tower) that God grieves the destruction, defamation, and sin that has distorted the image of God. However, God is still redeeming creation and God continues to create. This is the good news, the Gospel.
Our Gospel text shares a deeper element of creation. That is namely that Christ, the Word, was with God in the beginning and that all things were created through Christ. Reflecting on the idea that God spoke everything into existence through the Word. Not only was Christ present in the beginning, but that through Christ all things were created. When we talk about reflecting Christ or being Christlike, it may see like an impossible thing to do. But in fact, it should be a very natural thing to do, since we were created through Christ. We should reflect our creator.
Lastly, I want to emphasize that God's presence has existed before all things and will exist after all things. We were created to be in relationship with a loving God. This is comforting to know that God has always loved us, even through our sinfulness, God redeems us. God never abandons us, but instead, God renews us and restores us. We are NEVER alone. God's presence has been and always will be with us.
- Blessings, Pastor John Nader