Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I want to be in the Light...

I'm going through a lot of "new beginnings" in my life and so a little time in the Bible's "new beginning" seems appropriate.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1). God is a creator. The fact that the Bible begins with a declaration of God's creative work is perhaps predictable in light of the fact of what God has done and what God has continued to do throughout the ages of time. He creates! He creates worlds. He creates life to fill those worlds. He creates emotions, thoughts, music, history, and best of all, He creates people. A very meaningful verse of scripture to me has always been 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away; behold, new things have come". God's creative work is even seen in His reconciliatory work of salvation on our behalf. All of us who are "in Christ" are new creatures (new creations that have never existed before). Perhaps it's not too much of a stretch to see spiritual creation symbolized in the Genesis narrative. Let's take a look.

"The earth was formless (confused) and void (empty) and darkness was over the surface of the deep . . . " (Genesis 1:2). Have you ever felt confused and empty? Have you ever felt like you were living in darkness--in the deep places (what we might call in over your head)? I'm sure that we've all been there but it is of course most pronounced when we are living without Christ in our life.

" . . . and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters" (Genesis 1:2). I love this part. In the midst of our darkness, the Spirit of God is moving over the surface of our lives. When all appears to be out of control--the truth is that God is still in control. His Spirit is moving. I have just come through a very difficult stage in my life...but the Spirit was moving across the darkness. You may be in depression...but the Spirit of God is moving. You may not have a job...but the Spirit is moving. You may be recovering from a marital breakup...but the Spirit is moving.

"Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:3-5). Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life" (John 8:12). John's gospel begins with a declaration that Jesus was in the beginning with God at creation. Jesus is God and Jesus is, "the Light of men" (John 1:4). 1 John 1:5 continues the thought, "This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). Jesus is the light that delivers us from our darkness. He separates us from the darkness and declares us good (righteous). It's interesting that on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit was given to the infant church, a manifestation of fire over the heads of the believers could be seen. Fire, of course, produces light. May the light of the Gospel of grace hover over our heads as we penetrate the dark lostness all around us. I, for one, want to be in the light!

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