God the Creator
Father God, in this New Year may Your presence with me sanctify all my thoughts, words, and deeds.
Read Genesis 1:1--2:3
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8). It’s a great reminder for a new year.
How simple yet profound is the narration of God’s richly diverse creative work and our place in it! The start may be “formless and empty,” with covering “darkness,” but “the Spirit of God” is present. In matching three-day frames, God orders “light” and “separates” to bring form (days 1-3), paralleled by filling of that form (days 4-6). Note the simplicity of the repeated “and God said, “Let there be” … and it was so; God saw that it was good.” The drumbeat asserts that everything is here because God willed it so and in the way God willed it. All is “very good” (1:31). This statement is often challenged today. What of natural disasters and “nature, red in tooth and claw”? (Alfred, Lord Tennyson). Other passages show that the Bible recognizes these issues, looking forward to the time when all will be harmonious and right (Rom. 8:19-22; Rev. 21:1-4). Significantly Tennyson’s poem ends “Then was I as a child that cries, / But, crying knows his Father near.” The “beginning” sets the foundational reality: God’s creational goal is not “darkness, chaos and emptiness” but a rich, ordered “good” diversity.
In Mesopotamia and Egypt, only kings were said to be “the image of God,” visible representatives of divine rule, but here all humans, male and female, are created “in the image of God” (1:26, 27). Ethnic, class or gender hierarchy is stripped away. All are “blessed” with the freedom and responsibility to be “like” him in his creative work, bringing and maintaining order and fullness (“fill the earth and subdue it,” 1:28). Far from a warrant to exploit, this is a responsibility to rule for the benefit of the whole. The caring representative rule of the divine “image” embraces all creation. God provides food for humans–and for all creatures (1:29,30).
In prayer, look around you at people you meet and see in all the image and likeness of God.
Creative God, you bring order out chaos, meaning out of confusion. Do Your creative work in me in this new year.
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