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Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Genesis has so many stories to pick and chose from but it’s the very first part that sets the stage for everything to come in the Bible and even implications on our lives today.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created….

The first 3 chapters are a bit contentious because many have used them as scientific documents to outline how the Earth was created.

But that completely misses the point .

The first few chapters of Genesis suggest the Earth has a Creator, not necessarily how it was created. But that’s not even the crux of how everything starts.

The purpose of Genesis 1-3, and subsequently the stage it sets for everything to come, is to outline this magnificent story of how a Creator creates, out of love, to share in communion with his creation–the pinnacle of which sits humanity.

Relationship is key–God creates to love and share, and he never stops loving from this point forward–EVER.

The second crucial component that sets the stage for everything to come was the order of creation. Humanity is the only thing seen as ‘very good’ (not perfect) in God’s eyes, but that’s not the end. On the 7th day God does what? He rests. But that doesn’t do justice to the story.

The 7th day wasn’t a moment for God to marvel at his handy work. Rather, it’s a moment for us to stop and remember, that out of chaos came order and work towards order is celebrated in peace. When we think about why we have a Christian brand of faith, the purpose behind what we represent, why we’d join God in this journey of life, we have to point to what God wants, which I think for a moment is glimpsed harmoniously on the 7th day.

Genesis 1 – 3 set up a grand story that will unfold for the rest of the book (and has wider implications for the rest of human history). This story explodes out of the gate with what will be THE recurring theme: God is on a mission to share in a loving relationship with the pinnacle of his creation–humanity.

Hey, it’s Nik.

Let me start off by saying Genesis is my favourite book in the bible.

The entire book is about ‘Creation’ – God establishes creation and then establishes a plan to keep it in a state of Sabbath or, ‘shalom.’ In the beginning, we learn that the spirit of God hovers over the chaotic waters of the earth – everything is void and formless. He sets out, essentially – to give it form and fill it up. He takes what was once totally chaos and sets it into harmony. Everything is separated and ordered – from light and darkness, to male and female. And after it all, God saw that ‘it was good’.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end here. By chapter 4 people start killing each other and by chapter 6, God says he totally regrets creating humans in the first place. And so, by chapter 10 – God has completely reversed everything he did in the beginning. He lets chaos take over until there is nothing left but chaotic waters covering the earth and a man named “Noah” (which means the same thing as the word Sabbath) and his family. His love is steadfast – and he begins the creation process once again.

There are several times in the book of Genesis where God seems to create and then uncreate – he builds, and rebuilds. This happens at the flood, at the Tower of Babel narrative – and it doesn’t stop in Genesis, it seems to go on all the way to Jesus’ death on a cross. It appears as though the earth is in a constant state of Creation – chaos creeps in through the cracks, but God is always setting it back towards a Sabbath.

Isn’t that the exact mission he gives to us?

The first thing God does at creation is make light. In Genesis, God establishes a covenant with Abraham saying, “You will be a Light to the nations” – in other words, “You will be the sign of the beginning of a new creation”. Jesus says the same thing – that he is the Light to the world.

As Christians we get swept up in the thinking that it’s our job to make sure we get into heaven, avoid the devil, and tell as many people as we can about heaven. I think we’re totally missing the point when we fall into this way of thinking. When God finished creating, he told Adam and Eve to take care of the garden – to take care of creation. He then told Abraham to be the Light to the world. The mission of God is a mission of creation – and we’re to partner with him.

Our mission is to seek to establish harmony, peace, and justice, where there is Chaos running through our lives, our communities, our world.

Next in our series: Genesis Part 2.