Tag Archives: Genesis 1

Christmas Light

Christmas Eve may not be cute, but it certainly can be magical. One of my deepest memories of Christmas Eve was driving to candlelight worship while listening to the Apollo 8 astronauts, who were circling the moon, read from the first chapter of Genesis: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  I remember looking up an the moon and thinking of the light of God coming for us.  The mystery and wonder of that night changed how I look at the world.

And God said,” Let there be light;” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good: and God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4)

This evening at Resurrection Lutheran Church we had candle light at worship as we sang “Silent Night, Holy Night.” And once again in the golden glow of awed faces, the Christ child was born into our lives. He brings the magic of hope, the promise that he will rescue us from sin, Satan and death. Thanks be to God.

Lord Jesus, be the light of my life once again.

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9/11 and Genesis 1

9 11 Tribute in Lights

As we approach Sunday and the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I have a mixture of emotions. Like many Americans I have strong memories of that tragic day, first hearing the initial reports on my car radio and then watching the TV news feeds through the day. That evening I led an impromptu worship as people gathered to pray and to grieve. The prayer service had a raw anguished energy as people grappled with their fear and anger that came with the impact of the planes.

The following Sunday churches were packed as people continued to wrestle with the meaning and purpose of such a man-made disaster. Yet that spiritual fervor quickly passed as daily life for most Americans did not change. Many local churches marked the one-year anniversary, but I have not seen or heard of a local church memorial service since 2002.

This Sunday I have chosen not to center our worship around 9/11 but rather on the beginning of the school year and our sermon series, The Narrative Lectionary: The Story of the Bible. If Resurrection Lutheran was in New York City or Washington DC we would respond differently. I understand the national news media’s focus upon 9/11, but I wonder if so much attention only serves the terrorist’s cause, continue to give al-Qaeda the notoriety that it had been seeking.

The day after 9/11 I wrote some of my running buddies about my decision not to run on 9/11 or the day after so as to honor those who died in the Pentagon and World Trade Towers and the many first responders who made huge sacrifices to help others. But the following Saturday I choose to run with my running group as a statement to myself and to others that the terrorists did not win that day. They had not destroyed our culture or community. I would remember but not relinquish.

As I prepare to preach on Genesis 1, I am struck by the contrast of that text and 9/11. In the text we read that God declared that the creation is GOOD. Both Genesis 1 and 2 shows us the beauty and wonder of God’s creation and the special place humanity has.

Yet we know evil has worked itself into our world.  Genesis 3 introduces us to the concept of sin and evil, when Eve and Adam eat from the forbidden tree. Genesis 4-11 reveals how widespread sin and evil are: Cain murders Able (Genesis 4:8), the wickedness of humanity (Genesis 6:5) and the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). 9/11 only reinforces that theme of human sin. But human sin does not negate or destroy the underlying goodness of God’s creation. On Sunday, we will remember the tragedy of 9/11, but we will also go much, much deeper and remember the goodness of God’s creation and his power to restore us.

What do you think is an appropriate way to remember 9/11?

Lord Jesus, help me to trust, live and serve you even on the darkest days.

The Story of the Bible

Pop Bible Quiz: Place these five famous Biblical characters in their correct chronological/ Biblical order: (answer at the bottom of the blog.)

  • Moses
  • Ruth
  • John the Baptist
  • Elijah
  • Abraham

The reason I popped this quiz is to prep for our upcoming sermon series this fall, winter and spring. This year at Resurrection Lutheran we will be using a series of Bible Readings that covers the WHOLE Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.

The series is called the Narrative Lectionary. Narrative means story and Lectionary means series of Bible readings, so our series of Scripture readings will tell the large story of the Bible. We will be racing through the Old and New Testament, touching on the highlights of the God’s interactions with humanity. We will not be reading every chapter or book, but we will be seeking the BIG PICTURE of God’s consistent search to pull humanity back into God’s loving care.

This fall we will be moving through the Old Testament. We will read how humanity rebelled against God and how God chose a special people, the children of Abraham, to be his agents of restoration. This will be a quick survey of major stories and events and will lead us to the birth of Jesus at Christmas.

The Wonder of God's Creation

We will begin this week with the first chapter of the first book, Genesis 1. Many of us know the opening words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” As one reads the chapter, a constant refrain keeps popping up, “And God saw that it was good.” (v. 4, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). The goodness of creation is especially emphasized with the creation of human being. Humanity is the crowning glory, the best of the very best, in God’s magnificent creation. Humanity is not some fluke of chemistry, but the planned desire of God.

Which means you are not a random act, but a beautiful creation of God, made in God’s image. You are beautifully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139). You have purpose and meaning, given to you by the Creator. Part of that purpose and meaning is to discover your role or place in God’s story. So join us as we discover the unending story of God’s love for God’s people, and specifically for you.

Answers to the Pop Quiz: Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Elijah, John the Baptist

Lord Jesus, thank you for the wonder of your creation.  Help me to discover my place in your ongoing story.