In my time formerly as a Discipleship Pastor and currently as the Discipleship Coordinator of my church I have done a lot of reflecting and teaching on various parts of the Scripture. During those times I have sought not simply to bridge the world of the academy to the church, but to take that one step further and gleam those thoughts into devotional material that would go beyond the classroom. On Wednesdays I will be posting excerpts and drafts from things I have already written, with minor tweaks. Hope you enjoy!
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
(Gen 1:1, 31)
(Gen 1:1, 31)
There are many stories out there in competition for our interest, to become a part of our worldview, the foundational set of beliefs we hold about reality which help us make sense of how we live, move and have our being. The creation story in Genesis is one such story in this competition for centuries. It forces us to ask the questions: who really made the universe, how did it come into being, how did humans get here, and is there any significance to this? Is the world some meaningless void that appeared by chance and now we are simply moving around trying to give significance to an existence that is absurd and without purpose, or is there some reason, order, and intellect to this universe, a story perhaps to make sense of it all? Is there some master plan that we are a part of, like a play where the first few acts have been laid out for us but we are left to improvise the rest? If so, how might we know whether some scenes are better than others? The answers your give to these questions are the first steps to the beginning of your journey.
My suggestion is that we begin where the Bible begins that, “in the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth” and He called them good. It is the belief that God has set all things in order and put them in their proper place: fish in the water, cattle on the land and stars in the heavens. Each thing is where it ought to be. It is the belief that he created humanity in his image and likeness to watch over or rule his creation, to reflect who he is, and when he was finished he called all of it very good. Once we accept this twin belief, that God is the orderer and creator of the universe then we can begin to understand the foundation of Jesus' worldview.
Now, if God has created the universe and set it in order, giving each thing he created its own place, and humanity a task, we must assume then that we have a purpose and there is a task for us, there is a story then that we can look at to make sense of it all. Essentially, we are not here by chance. However, more than that, we also know that we are created in the image and likeness of God, meaning that in order to understand ourselves we must understand the God in who's image and likeness we are made. Therefore, the drama of scripture, the story of God and his creation, has something to teach us not only about us but about God as well. We have the ability not only to know good, what it is and why God called creation it, but we can known something about the very one who called creation good in the first place.
1. How does your belief in God affect your outlook on the world around you? Does it change the way you think, act, and live?
2. If God is the creator and orderer of the universe, what has he created you for and where has he ordered you to be?