Creation Series (October 1st - November 12th, 2023
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
The story of creation in Genesis is not just about the creation of our natural world. Even the story says as much: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1) If we look more closely we can see that the story details our own process of becoming “truly human”, or being re-created in the image and likeness of God. More specifically, each day of creation represents a stage in the process of being enlightened by the Word of the Lord and led by Him into heavenly life while we still live on this earth.
Jesus said: ”That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:6-8)
The tranquility and beauty of watching an early morning sunrise would be so awesome... IF we didn't have to get out of bed so early! If we want to watch the sunrise, we have to choose to wake up before it happens and get ourselves to a place where we can see it rise. Have you ever seen a spiritual sunrise? The good news is you don't have to wake up early to see it... but still, you won't see it if you don't choose to. What is a spiritual sunrise, and how does it rise up from "the Spirit of God [that] was hovering over the face of the waters"?... "Let there be Light!"
Not all of the knowledge in your mind is equally valuable. It is just not as important to know that a square has four sides as it is to know the Lord's Commandment that we "shall not steal"? Part of our process of becoming a truly wise human being is to learn how to evaluate the information we know in order to make the best use of it in our lives. Day 2 of creation in Genesis speaks about a division of the waters above from the waters beneath--In our lives, we might call this "getting our priorities straight."
The third day of creation is a day of transition. In it, the entire earth is essentially created and the Lord then moves to begin filling the earth with things, beginning with "tender herbs" and seed-bearing fruit. This day represents an important part of our journey of spiritual re-creation where the foundation is laid, or the earth is created so that the Lord can begin infilling it with good things. This Sunday, we will look at the third day of creation and see how it can inspire us to acknowledge the progress we have made while recommitting ourselves to keep moving forward with the Lord as our guide.
Whether we know it or not, our loves are what really guide us through life. Day 4 of creation is all about us receiving love from the Lord. All of the work we have done up to this point finally begins to pay off because we start to feel what it's like to do good out of genuine love for our neighbor rather than our love of what we gain from it. The problem is, this love is like the sun and it goes down every night. This Sunday we will talk about the creation of the sun, moon, and stars and how we can be guided by the love we receive from the Lord, even when we don't feel its presence.
"The Lord is at work in every good deed we do and in every truth we utter." Can you believe this? What does it mean to really believe anything for that matter? Are our beliefs just the thoughts we think are true, or could they become more than that? In the story of creation, on the fifth day, God created all of the living creatures that fill the seas and the skies. In our spiritual recreation, the Lord alone can give real life to our thoughts and beliefs!
Lao Tzu famously wrote, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
What truly defines humanity? The pinnacle of God's story of creation, and the whole reason why everything else was created, is the Human Race. What is so special about human beings that God would consider His creation complete, after He created them, and rest on the 7th day? The key to answering this question is to think of how we might become true reflections of God's love and wisdom--how we can live in His "image and likeness".
Working on ourselves and trying to grow spiritually is how we are recreated by God, but it doesn't need to always feel like hard work! Imagine yourself in a future where every spiritual next step, and every challenge you overcame filled you with a Divine sense of peace and fulfillment! "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it." (Genesis 2:3)