Tuesday, January 3, 2012

God Still Calls

Genesis, the one book in the Bible that everyone can find!  It is the Greek word for “beginnings,” which seems the appropriate place to start.  We are all familiar with the first part of the book, the creation story, where God created the heavens and the earth and all that is contained within it and then on the seventh day he rested.  I have read the story numerous times as I am sure many of you have done.  But there is great value in reading it again, because you would be surprised at what catches your eye.

So what caught my attention in Genesis 1 that I hadn’t noticed before?  God said.  God saw.  God called. God blessed.  We tend to just breeze over those phrases but let’s linger a little while because they are more significant than what you see at first glance.

God said.  Think about it.  God literally spoke creation in to being!  The notes in my Wesley Study Bible say this: “God creates effortlessly, simply speaking the universe into existence.”  Before time existed, God existed.  He created time and space and all the elements it contained within the universe.

God saw.  God looked at what he spoke into existence-at each and every stage of its creation.  This was not random and hap hazard, this was carefully thought out and constructed.  God saw that “it was good”.

God called.  He didn’t just stop at speaking, or looking, he went a step further and called the elements of creation by name.  He gave each thing a definition.  The properties of day and light, for example, are not the same as the properties of night and darkness.  It has it’s own separate roll to play within the whole creation.  Sky, earth, sea, day, night, all integral parts of creation, yet all distinct.

God blessed.  The living creatures that he created, he blessed.  The creatures of the water and the air.  Humankind, male and female.  He said, He saw, He called, He blessed.

Now, you get to verse 31 in Genesis chapter 1:
“God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”
It isn’t until the very end when God looks at all he had created and he calls it “very good.”  Prior to that he called it simply good.  But everything together as a whole is “very good!”

Why does this matter?  Well, if you want to understand Wesley’s understanding of Grace you need to understand the goodness of God’s creation in the first place, including us flawed and imperfect human beings!  Wesley believed that “humanity came from the hands of the Creator ‘pure from every sinful blot’…evil did not exist ‘at all in the original nature of things.”  Sin and evil came in to the world later, when Eve chose to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden and gave the fruit to Adam as well.  Free will existed, even from the very beginning.  And that was a risk that God was willing to take in creating the universe and all that exists within it!

God loves what he created!  He wants to have that close relationship again with those He created, because He is the same today as He was yesterday.  God was so close to Adam and Eve that he walked in the garden with them!  God knows your name and he calls you, just as he has called all his creation from the beginning of time!  And here is the beauty of free will-we all have a choice.  We can choose to answer the call or we can choose to hide ourselves from God’s presence.

Perhaps it would help us, if we would look at the universe from God’s perspective, rather than our own!  Your choice, your call!

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