There are some things God has yet to reveal to us, like why God would allow the Falcons to blow a 25-point Super Bowl lead. Some things God is in the process of revealing to us, like the all-encompassing greatness of Freddie Freeman. And some things God has revealed to us from the very beginning.
This Sunday we’ll wrap up our “In The Beginning” worship series. We’ve been looking at scenes from Genesis to understand a few things that were important enough for God to teach us right off the bat—lessons about creativity, covenant, commitment and community.
Before we let this series go, I want to make sure we remember these first lessons of scripture.
Creativity (Genesis 1)
Our God is a creative God. The first way we know God is as creator. In fact, the first chapter of Genesis makes clear that creating good, new things is God’s work. That means that every time we engage in the work of creating, we are partnering with God to do God’s work.
Sometimes new things—new technology, new relationships, new environments, new ideas, new expectations, new ways of being the church—can be intimidating. When we remember that God is in the business of creating new things, it can help us move beyond our fear.
Covenant (Genesis 17)
God is a God of covenant. From the very beginning we have known that God desires a relationship with us. God’s covenant with Abraham is a promise that God will be for us and with us forever.
After creating, entering into covenant with us is one of the first things God does in scripture. We learn very early that the God of all creation is on our side to encourage and uphold us!
Our part of the covenant? It is to be blameless and faithful. We don’t always keep our part of the covenant, but God does. The gap between God's faithfulness and our failure is called grace.
From the beginning, God has wanted us to know that God’s promises are sure even when we fall short, and God’s promises last forever.
Commitment (Genesis 22)
From the beginning, particularly through the story of Abraham and Issac, we have understood that God has high expectations of us. And we learn that both the high expectations and the challenge of living up to them are a blessing.
It’s clear in Genesis that God is to be first in our lives. Family, friends, money, influence, patriotism—it doesn’t matter what the competing interest is—God comes first.
We learn very early in scripture that God is worthy of our devotion because of who God is, not just because of what God can provide. When we remember that and keep God at the center of who we are, all the other pieces of our lives seem to fall into place.
From the very beginning, God reveals how important it is to put God first.
Community (Genesis 33)
God is a God who facilitates reconciliation because God values community. Relationships are tough, so reconciliation is necessary. From the very beginning rivalry, jealousy, deceitfulness, and betrayal have been part of human relationships.
And there are no relationships more fraught with peril than family relationships. The story of Jacob and Esau reminds us that our own family sagas and challenges are nothing new.
Broken relationships can leave deep wounds, shatter trust, and fracture community.
But God shows us from the very beginning how important the work of reconciliation is—and how important the work of building and repairing community is.
Creativity, Covenant, Commitment, Community
We can all work to emphasize and be open to creativity, covenant, commitment and community in our individual lives.
Remember, creating new things has always been part of God’s plan. From the very beginning, God has desired a covenantal relationship with you. Good things happen when we put God first in our lives. And reconciliation is a central process through which God has worked in our relationships from the very first pages of scripture.
What can you do this week to bolster creativity, covenant, commitment and community in your life? Whatever it is, I pray you'll do it.
See you Sunday.