Genesis Chapter 1 – what a great place to begin this new year. What a feast for our souls, what a gift this chapter is to his people! For many of us, this chapter has been read to us or by us more times than we can remember for more years than we can recall. We assume that we have rung it out like a towel over the sink. We fly through it or skip over it entirely because we know it so well. We see it like an introduction that isn’t necessary. Similar to when we buy a new toaster and immediately chuck the manual in the trash – we know what it will say, we don’t need to re-read it.

What a tragedy this is! This is a shocking and amazing account! How can it be that we have been given this story from God himself? Y’all (I searched my brain for a better word, but I can’t say this emphatically enough without using the word y’all) – we meet God in this chapter! We see the Godhead (The Father, Son and Holy Spirit) as they have existed for all time, working as one to bring creation out of nothingness. But we take this for granted. Oh, that we would be shaken by the Word of God himself.

Genesis 1 shows us the astounding power and authority of God and sets us rightly in our place of submission under Him. When we read the creation account, we should fall on our face, duck our heads with faces aflame that we ever do anything BUT submit to this God we meet in Genesis. This chapter shows us the framework of the catastrophic rebellion that takes place just two chapters later, when the very “thing” (Adam and Eve) dared to elevate themselves above this mighty God who created them. But that’s a future blog entry.

One aspect we see in this chapter is the effortlessness of creation for God. He spoke! (read John 1:1-5 for an expanded picture of this) and it was so. One instant there was nothing, then God speaks and (snap) there was something. Some unbelievable “somethings.” The sky, the sun and moon, the earth and solar system, oceans teeming with life, land filled with trees and plants and grass and cows and creepy crawly things. All this burst into existence at the word of God. Effortless. He didn’t create giant machinery to dig out lakes or a lab to splice up some DNA that he had whipped together to get all the species of the earth started. He spoke.

Of course, we know what happens on the 6th day. On the 6th day he did more than speak his crowning glory into existence. With his own hands, he fashioned the shape of a man. The man didn’t come into existence in the same way that the animals and the land and the heavens did. God breathed his very breath into the nostrils of the man and “the man became a living creature.”(Gen 2:7)

I can recall the day that my son was born down to the smallest detail. If you stopped me in the hall and asked me about that day I wouldn’t have to think hard or even pause before I spilled the story. It takes my breath away almost 12 years later that I was part of such a miracle. His birth story is a gift that is turned over in my heart and mind over and over, it causes me to marvel at the work of the Lord.

We just spent December turning over the most beautiful birth story ever told – that of our Jesus, sent by His Father to live and breathe and walk on the very earth that he created. To be killed by and for the very people he created, to save us from our sins.

Genesis 1 is our birth story. It is the birth story of all creation, inspired by the Holy Spirit and recorded for us to read across thousands of years. How can we callously skip over this without care? It too is to be remembered, stared at, pondered again and again throughout our days. May we have new eyes to see as we enter into the coming weeks in this book. May the Spirit of God who was once hovering over the deep hover in our midst as we turn these events over in our hearts. Consider these lyrics as we spend our time in this beautiful book:

“This is our God, living and breathing. Call him courageous, relentless and brave. This is our God, loving and reaching, scandalous mercy and mighty to save. Hallelujah, this is our God! Sing praise!” (“This Is Our God by Travis Cottrell, David Moffitt and Sue C. Smith)

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the day is coming! We are one year closer and we will see Him face to face. Revelation 22:20 Jesus himself told the disciple John, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen, Come Lord Jesus! This is our God in Genesis, John and Revelation. Hallelujah, sing praise!

Happy New Year!