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How did we get into this mess? – part 2

by on October 13, 2014

GENESIS 1 (continued)

We’ve looked at the Creator in Genesis 1. What about the creation? What about us and our world, what do we learn from this song?

“And God said let the dry land appear. And it did!” This pattern happens over and over. God said…and it was real. We learn that the things God created are real and purposeful. This world is not random, or illusory. It’s meaningful and solid. Because the Creator designed it and brought it into real being.

You know, the whole of our modern science is founded on this insight. Other cultures could never do science. Do you know why? Their creation stories told them the world was chaotic and evil and meaningless. Or just an illusion. If you are living on the carcass of a slaughtered god, you don’t expect to find much order or meaning in your world. They thought the world is random, or the world isn’t real. We live in a shadow world. So you wouldn’t go looking for patterns and laws, like science does.

But Genesis says, no, the world is designed. “God said let the dry land appear. And it did!” It is meaningful. You can explore it and find out the patterns. You can do science. And so the first scientists were the Christians. Not the Buddhists or Hindus or Baal worshippers. Bible believers. Because believed the world was real and purposeful.

But there’s one more thing here, isn’t there, that stands out again and again about the world, in this song: ‘And it was good.’ Along the way God keeps pausing and looking at what he’s made, and seeing how good it is. He’s enjoying it. And at the end when it’s all done, ‘God saw that it was very good.’ God’s approval. God creates wonderful things. He made the world good. Very good. And he ends up celebrating it.

Isn’t that amazing, to think of God celebrating our world? This is the Christian vision of the creation: the world looking up in worship to God, and God looking on in approval and joy of his world. A mutual celebration. Both ways. That’s why you need a song to express it. It gets made more explicit in psalm 148. That psalm retells the Genesis 1 story, but cranks up the singing.

Praise him, sun and moon;
praise him, all you shining stars!
  Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

A song of praise: that’s what life is meant to be. That’s what our world is about: the trees lift their arms to praise God; the waves thunder for his pleasure; the sun shines for his glory. When we experience those things and they move and delight us, it’s the song we’re hearing. The song of the creation praising God.

Would you like to take part in that song? Many of us long for this. The creation was made meaningful and good so that God could look on you and me and say Yes. Very good. And we could look up to him and cry ‘Father!’ For God to approve of me and rejoice over me. And me over him. How good is that?!

But as we look at the world, and at ourselves, our heart sinks. We can’t rejoice in the things going on down here. How could God approve them? So much that God created seems to have been uncreated. Over the coming weeks we are going to be seeing more about what went wrong, what happened to corrupt the world from that place of celebration, to this place of anguish. How the world was unmade.

But already we can say the problem was so serious, only God could fix it. We needed the creator to step in. And that’s what he did in Jesus. In Jesus God himself stepped in and allowed himself to be unmade at the cross for us. That’s how serious the problem was. That’s what it took. God unmade, So we could be remade. Christ uncreated, so we could be created anew. In Jesus’ anguish and misery is the seed of our healing. In Christ we are offered what we never could have dreamt of: a fresh start. In Christ, God can once again look on you and me and say: Very good! I delight in you. And in Christ we can once again look on God and say Father! And join the song again.

From → Bible talks

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