Week 3, Day 2: Creation
In the Creation chapter of the gospel story, we learn who God is and who we are.
Several years ago, when my wife Carolyn and I were on our honeymoon, we had the tremendous privilege of going swimming with whale sharks off the coast of Mexico. Whale sharks are the largest known fish still living in the world; they can grow to over forty feet in length! It was awe-inspiring to swim alongside them, even as we were under strict instructions not to touch them so as not to disturb the mucus on their skin, which protects them from parasites and bacteria. I remember being struck both by the wonder of creation — and its fragility.
I had the same feeling when I looked out over the Grand Canyon when I was first able to visit. It’s a similar feeling to when I sit on the beach and look out over the ocean, or when I get outside and am present to God in nature, but it’s also the feeling I get when I stop to pay attention for more than a moment, when I take time to try to notice God in everything around me.
READ: GENESIS 1
Genesis 1 tells of the creation of the world; it is a hymn to the God who created it all, a signpost pointing to the God who made all things, rather than a step-by-step recounting of how he made it all. God says:
I myself made the earth,
and created humans upon it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens.
I commanded all their forces. (Isaiah 45:12)
And everything God has made he calls “good.” Everything is as it should be. But the pinnacle of creation is humankind, made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), both male and female, equal participants with one another and co-laborers with God. It is only after the creation of humanity that God declares everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31). In the ancient world, rulers would create “images” of themselves and erect them in every corner of their kingdom as their representatives, so that the people would know who was in charge and what they looked like. This is our purpose:
to be representatives of our Creator to one another, reminders of who is ultimately in charge; and
to show the world what our God is like, in his creativity, his relationality, and, above all, his love.
We have a unique role in creation. James Choung describes humanity as having been “designed for good.” As Dallas Willard puts it, “You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe.” God loves you and has a purpose for you.
LOOK & LISTEN: Joel Schat, “Made to be Seen” (5:01)
Everything God has made
he calls "good."
REFLECT & RESPOND
Head: Where do you see glimpses or traces of God around you?
Heart: How might these truths of Creation change the way you look at and feel about yourself and the world you find yourself in?
Hands: How can you take more opportunities in your life to see the goodness of God’s creation, whether by creating more times in your schedule or by cultivating an awareness in your everyday life? Take two pictures of some things that remind you of the goodness of God’s creation.
Ask God to show you goodness. Take note of what you notice.