As campus ministers in Pittsburgh, we felt compelled to honor Christ in leading our students closer to Him through a focus on Advent. We’ve come together to write a short devotional for each day of advent to fulfill this compulsion. Soon, the PDF will be available, but for the next few days they will only be available each day here on this blog.
Week 1: Come, Lord Jesus! [We live in the tension between Christ’s first coming, celebrated on Christmas, and his second coming. This first week begins with God’s good creation, which Jesus will restore and it is the cry of the people of good for him to do so in fullness, and with haste!]
Nov. 27 – Genesis 1-2- Joseph Wimer (Aletheia Community Alliance Church)
“It was good…” This is the phrase that frames our understanding of the created order as it was intended to be. As you read through the Creation account, do so in this way – read it, not as an account intended to tell us literally/exactly/precisely how God created, but rather as a robust and celebration of the beauty and order God lovingly called into being. So often this beautiful narrative gets lost in debate over whether or not it was a literal six days, or whether or not God used evolution to create. I would argue here, that this is not the main point of this text. Rather, in a context where the cultures in which the people of God dwelt believed the earth was created as a result of divine chaos and violence, and that humanity was birthed from celestial intercourse, there is an alternative. Out of ineffable and holy love, God speaks order into chaos, fullness into emptiness, beauty into disorder… And he calls it good. He forms man “in his image” to reflect his generous, just, and creative rule to all of his creation, and he calls it “very good”.
If we are going to reflect fully on the significance and profundity of the incarnation, if we are going to wholly experience the weight of the glory of this season, we must remember and affirm the original goodness of the world which God created, and the right relationship that existed between God and man, man and man, and man and the created order. Why? God came to earth in the person of Jesus to restore all those things to “very good”, and to reconcile all things (read: ALL THINGS) in heaven and on earth to God. We, the people of God, are living in the “in-between” of the original garden of goodness, and the yet future restored city of God’s dwelling with man. While we live in this tension, we are to faithfully proclaim the inherent goodness of the world we inhabit, prophetically lament its current brokenness, and tirelessly work for the world that is to come in the new heavens and new earth (we’ll explore the latter two in the following weeks).
What is a part of creation that you love? What are you studying? What type of work do you do?
As it applies, imagine what these would have been like without the debilitating effects of sin, and pray for that imaginative vision to begin to shape the way you see the world.
Holy God, fountain of beauty, you are good; you have created your world and those who bear your image to reflect that goodness. Help us to treat your created order and those who inhabit it with the utmost respect and reverence. Help us to be advocates of holy truth, love, beauty and justice in a world that so desparately needs them. You have created us with purpose, and we trust your Spirit and your Word to guide us into this purpose. Amen.