“I made this!”
Speaking honestly, there isn’t much in life that I’ve created that has given me great joy. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say there isn’t much in life I’ve created that has given me lasting joy. Very limited times that my culinary creations or writing pieces have me saying, “Wow, that is really good!” Why? Well, for me, it’s all too easy to see the flaws, areas for improvement, shortcomings of my work, or comparison to that which is made by those with more talent. And in that very instant the joy of the moment is broken.
In many ways, reading the creation story can bring the same response of fading joy but for a vastly different reason. The joy of Genesis 1 can be lost when we know where the story is headed. We see the goodness, read of God’s greatness but all along it is tainted by what we know comes just two chapters later… the fall. And sometimes it can rob us of perspective when we’re not be able to sit in awe of a God who wanted to create, whose power and strength could create, who chose to make mankind in His image… because we know how quickly sin corrupted Eden.
But here’s the thing, right there in thick of Genesis 1 is a reality of a goodness that will break your heart open wide… finally be open enough to feel totally unworthy and ultimate worth in the same instant! And we need that juxtaposition deep in our core, the tension of complete unworthiness and ultimate worth.
So here it is, preach this gospel (good news truth) to yourself! When we see the truth of God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good and true and righteous and know that very same God choose to create… and not just to create but to also make mankind in His image… even when He knew how it would all transpire, how every doubting, scheming, sinful, heart-breaking moment would go… still God chose to create light, water, earth, stars, planets, grass, animals, and more…
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
God not only chose to create mankind, He made Adam and Eve in the image of God. As he formed humanity, breathed the breath of life into His creation, man and woman bore the image of God.
Let that one sit for a minute. Just stop and ponder the awe of that reality!
Because it wasn’t just Adam and Eve that God chose. God chose you.
… full stop… No ifs, ands, or buts about it: God. Chose. You.
When the psalmist says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14 That my friend means you! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has a plan and purpose for you. You are God’s masterpiece created in Christ Jesus to do the good works that He prepared in advance for you (Ephesians 2:10).
John 1 echoes the creation story as it brings even greater joy because Christ was with God in the beginning and all things were created through Him… and as we sit in this Advent season, with our hearts yearning to prepare for the coming… we can turn with hearts full of wonder and praise of the God who loved you that much!