God: Just Never Quits Creating
You’d have to be pretty distracted from the Genesis story to miss the idea that God is a God who creates things. The really cool message in this story is that God never stops creating things. We can’t go back in time to fix up our mess-ups but we do have a God who keeps on creating new things out of the chaos in our lives.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and start things over? Being able to do that could be pretty cool – except for when things get seriously out of hand (just ask anyone who’s watched a time-travel movie).
The Genesis story in the first two chapters of the Bible draw an image of things being created good first time round – and then getting pretty seriously messed up. As we pointed out in the first session, the point of the story is not how or when things actually happened, but about who was involved and the purpose behind things happening at all.
It’s probably not that surprising that the only character in the story who gets a speaking role in the first chapter is God (did God really speak? What did that sound like? Wait, that’s not really the point …) The writer of Genesis really wanted to show us a bit of what God is like and why God brought everything there is into being (however that happened).
You’d have to be pretty distracted from the story to miss the idea that God is a God who creates things. You know what’s really cool about the message in this story and later on in the Bible? God never stops creating things. We can’t go back in time to fix up our mess-ups but we do have a God who keeps on creating new things out of the chaos in our lives.
Check out how the Bible writers tell the story…
Here are three Bible passages that speak about God ‘in the beginning’:
In the beginning God created … Genesis 1:1
In the beginning was the Word … John 1:1
I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End … (Jesus, in Revelation 22:13)
The story starts right at the beginning with three Hebrew words:
The Hebrew word beginning means ‘at the source’. Like a spring that lies at a river’s source, God is there at the source of everything shaping and forming the Universe.
The point the writer wants to make is that it is God who creates. And from that beginning-moment onwards God never stops creating. We need to skip forward to one of the first books in the New Testament to see how this works. The writer of the Gospel of John understood what the Genesis writer was trying to show us. And he takes it to the next level. Check out what John shows us about Jesus …
In the introduction to John’s gospel we hear something that should be familiar if you’ve read Genesis 1.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made. (John 1v1)
This passage begins with the same words as Genesis because John wanted to show us that Jesus’ arrival on earth was a radical act of new creation in a messed-up world.
Here are the words that begin verses 29, 35 and 43 of John 1:
The next day … (v29)
The next day … (v35)
The next day … (v43)
Beginning with the first day of Jesus’ story in verse 19, John tells us what happens in the first four days of Jesus ministry. Does the way John repeats ‘the next day’ sound familiar?
Then, in John 2v1, John begins with ‘on the third day’ (after the fourth day in v43). It’s the seventh day (4+3=7)! Does the idea of seven days ring any bells?
John shows us Jesus re-enacting the first seven ‘days’ of the Creation story.
Now here’s where things get really pretty cool. On this seventh day Jesus performs his first miracle—turning water into wine at a wedding. Of all the miracles Jesus performs in the Gospels, there are only two where Jesus creates something completely new that was not there before. The first is turning water into wine (there are a whole lot of chemical compounds in wine that aren’t in water that need to be created from nothing), the second was his own resurrection into a completely new kind of human (check out 1 Corinthians 15 to see how Paul explains this new body).
Do you see what John is showing us? Jesus, who was there in the beginning creating all things (‘through him all things were made’) keeps on creating new things out of nothing in this world and in our lives— things that are better and richer than anything we’ve experienced. It’s what Jesus does.
Now, skip from the very first verse in the Bible to one of the very last—Revelation 22:13. It’s Jesus again :
I am the Alpha and Omega , the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End …
Jesus is the beginning and the end of everything. The Story begins with Jesus and it ends with Jesus. Everything that happens: every breath that is breathed, every life that is lived, every word that is spoken, happens in the presence of Jesus who never stops creating new things.
What good, new stuff might Jesus be wanting to create in your life?
In this tab you’ll find ideas and questions to help you lead your group through an interactive, story-based journey. Read our leaders guide to explore how to get the most out of these four parts.
Download a PDF version of this session here
o Can you think of one moment in your life that you’d like to go back and do differently?
o If you could radically change one thing about the way your life is right now, what would it be? How hopeful are you that that one thing might actually change?
o Imagine you’re sitting with someone who is watching a movie of your life as it is right now … What would your friend notice about the role God plays in your life? When are the times that you tend to notice God? When do you pray?
o Take a few moments to replay a scene in which you do connect with God in some way—or at least come close. What image or idea of God do you have?
Get the conversation started …
Get everyone to re-read one or more of the WordSpace posts from this week on their phones or from a printout (you’ll find them on the third tab on this page.)
o Is there a post that stands out for you? Why so?
o Are there any posts that you disagree with or are not sure about?
o If you had to choose one post to share with a friend, which one would it be?
Read the post in The Story tab.
Here’s Brad Fish explaining about our first invitation… On YouTube here
In this session we’ve explored the idea that God is always there creating new things out of nothing in our lives…
Some questions to help you replay your story …
o What one thing stood out for you most in what you heard?
o Did anything in this session make you feel encouraged or hopeful?
o Has there been anything in this session that has challenged your idea of what God is like?
Re – draw your picture of Jesus
Take some time to imagine that you are there with Jesus in the beginning—as creation begins to unfold. Watch Jesus creating things as you would watch a painter on a canvas. What does Jesus feel towards the things he is creating? What does Jesus feel about you as he begins to create the person you will one day be? How do you feel when Jesus looks at what he has created—including you—and says: ‘that is very good!’?
What practical action, response, thought do you want to take into the week?
Have you encountered something about the way God creates new things this session that makes you want to say to God:
‘wow, I’ve kind of lost hope that things in my life can ever change. I don’t think I’ve trusted you very much – sorry! Help me put my hope and trust in you a bit more’
Jesus invites us to repent often and with freedom. It’s a real gift from God – go for it!
Some questions to help you remix your story …
o How could knowing that Jesus creates good, new things in our lives and our world change the way you pray?
o What things in your life need some of Jesus creative touch?
o Is there something new God might be wanting to create in the world you live in by using you in some way? Is there a practical step you need to take to help make that happen?
From the WordSpace
Here are five posts from the WordSpace we’ve posted specially to tie in with this topic:
‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God:… Through him all things were made… In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind’ John 1v1-4
Imagine you are there with Jesus in the beginning as creation begins to unfold. Watch Jesus creating things as you would watch a painter with a canvas.
What does Jesus feel about the things he is creating? What does Jesus feel about you? How does it feel when Jesus looks at what he has created (including you) and says: ‘that is very good!’? (Genesis 1v31)
Read John 1 here: http://goo.gl/Ltaan
London, Paris, Venice, Rome all places on my traveller’s bucket list. Amazingly – I got to see some of them (after growing up in a really small town.) I was amazed by the beauty of creation!! :’) I enjoy taking pictures but I was unable to capture the beauty of it all on my camera.
How great and mighty is our God who created the heavens and the earth. How magnificent is the one who placed the stars in the sky. He created the universe yet he has called each of us by name! How amazing is that?! ..such a powerful God loves us and has created each of us with a purpose! Take a listen: Who Am I ~ Casting Crowns (http://bit.ly/164G2YJ)
Jess Fish – Mtunzini
God, some days I wonder why you created so many varieties of green.
You could have just made one colour green and we wouldn’t have known any better.
But that would be far too simple for you. When I look around at creation there is no doubt that you love variety
Help me to look around at the variety of people you have made and believe the same about them, all created equally valuable and yet so different, all with unique gifts to serve one purpose, glorifying you, just like all of creation.
Read Psalm 8v5 here: http://bit.ly/1btGWjh
‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked him. The blind man said, ‘Rabbi, I want to see.’ (Mark 10v51)
Wow – what an amazing question to be asked by the one who created the Universe. What if anything were possible, if you could ask for anything what would it be? What would it mean to be free of the things that keep you down, trapped, in darkness?
Jesus – I want to see
‘Believe, believe in me, believe / That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain’ (Tonight, tonight – Smashing Pumpkins)
What songs in your playlist express what it feels to be given the chance to be set free?
Check out the whole soundtrack to this story that’s taking shape here:http://bit.ly/Zs9TdY
‘Go,’ said Jesus, ‘your faith has healed you.’ Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. (Mark 10v52)
Bartimaeus has been through a hectic story – sitting by the side of the road, blind and alone he calls out to someone he believes can heal him. Jesus notices him, calls him, and restores Bart’s sight. Freedom!!
Can you relate in some way to that story? What part are you in right now? Where is Jesus for you?
‘But don’t you know who you are, / What’s been done for you? / Yeah don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made, / You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create, / You’ve been remade.’ (Tenth Avenue North – listen here: http://bit.ly/1sBP3jd )
Check out our full soundtrack for this story made from your suggestions here: http://bit.ly/Zs9TdY