Happy New Year. We hope you have all had a restful break and had chance to ponder on “the reason for the season”. Keeping Christ firmly in view at Christmas can be a real challenge at times,
Our first service of 2018 saw us taking communion, renewing our covenant or promise to God, to ourselves, to each other, the church and the wider world that is our community. The service was led by Ian assisted by Roy and Jonny. Our pastor, Tim Hyde, brought us the Word today.
Tim posed for us all the question “Where do we begin in this new year?”. His message was that we should start start at the beginning. He told that we’re going to explore the highlights of the Old Testament starting with Genesis chapter 1. Even though this might be familiar to us, re-reading brings out new things for us all. Tim read the whole of chapter 1. He then reflected that it is estimated that 500,000 to 5 million sea life species are yet to be discovered.
If that is not amazing enough consider 6 million atoms on a full stop. How many other particles are there? If you don’t like spiders the next fact Tim shared might not amaze, there are 5.5 million spiders in every hectare and the web they produce is stronger than the equivalent width of steel. (5 million spiders on your football pitch!) The Bible starts and ends with new creation. It is not a science book. Over last 250 years there has been a constant battle with people questing the Bible and using science to defend or overthrow. Some questions may appeal more than others. Did Adam have a belly button is an interesting question. Tim reflected that he met so many people trying to argue Genesis is a scientific account. We struggle if we try to do this with literature that is thousands of years old. We end up with groups of people, evolutionists, creationists, people who interpret the bible literally. Problem of all of these is that it forgets the first principle when studying the Bible which is that it is made up of lots of different types of literature. The bible contains truth.Scientific truth has changed through the years. If we treated the Bible in the same way we’d constantly need to issue updates. The person who wrote the first words of Genesis didn’t even know atoms and molecules existed. It is not a science book. It looks at the why rather than the how. Creationists and evolutionists alike need to let God speak. Tim illustrated this by talking about the physical symptoms of how he felt when thinking about his wife rather the simple, more poetic but probably better understood statement that the message “I love you” would achieve.
We end up asking the wrong question. Creation is fundamental to understanding who we are and what we do. Only God has the power to create something new. Genesis 1 confirms God is the exclusive creator. God is all powerful. Reflect on the statement “Let there be..”. And the world is formed. However it happened it is all from God. God wills it and it happens . God goes on to sustain it. The balance is incredible. One tiny difference and nothing exists. God is creator and the source of everything. Hope for the future is only possible if you believe in a God who created from nothing and who can sustain the change. You don’t have to go far to see it. God’s creation of incredible beauty. Every part of God’s handiwork is there to remind us of his power. How leaves on trees work is just fascinating and something to marvel at. It is how God intended and the best is that he took pleasure in it. We see who we are. We can be creative in a different way. We are created in gods image in a relationship with every person still being unique. Even twins are different with differing personalities. He made us responsible for our own actions and choices. Genesis 1 shows how things were meant to be. There were no barriers between God and between people. Free open creation between humans and their God .
God hasn’t stopped he can still bring light to the darkest of places and order to chaos. God hasn’t changed. All human beings are still in God’s image.
Something to think about in this new year of 2018. Think about the simple fact that if God created everything out of nothing what could he do in your life this year.
In your life what could he do if he brought:
Light out of dark
Order out of chaos
Time and then the effect on your diary
Love from loneliness
Control from powerlessness.
What could God do in your life this year? Remind yourself of these thought and questions the next time you see something beautiful.