Happy New Year! Welcome to our first day of reading together. As you open yourself to the scripture, I know you will be blessed. Blessing will come. It is not always immediate. Be patient. Remain faithful.
How does God create? By calling creation into being. When we get to the New Testament book of John, we will read “In the beginning was the Word.” John will identify Jesus as the Word. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the creating action of God who was with God from the beginning. From the first verse of Genesis, we can see how the Old and New Testaments are tied together!
- More compelling to me than how creation happens is why God creates. Genesis 1-2 provide answers. Why does God create?
- Notice how on the seventh day God rested. I wonder how often we avoid doing what even God sees a need to do.
Notice the words used to refer to God have changed. Now the writer says “LORD God”. When LORD is in capital letters, it is the Hebrew word, Yahweh, a name for God considered so holy that it is unpronounceable.
- How is man brought to life? “Breath” is the same Hebrew word that is translated “wind” or “spirit”. God’s Spirit brings to life.
- I’ve included this artwork by the 15th Century German painter, Lucas Cranach. How has he depicted the various scenes from Genesis 2-3? How does he understand the relationship between God and the man and woman?
If you have followed our Advent study, this chapter will be familiar to you. Luke was a physician, a Gentile, and a companion of Paul. Where does Luke say that he received what he has written in this book?
As you read this chapter, look for the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit. How have you sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life?
The presence of the Holy Spirit in my life has enabled me to better understand that “nothing is impossible with God.” The Spirit has given me courage to do what God is calling me to do, things I could never do on my own. Inviting God’s Spirit into my life daily has allowed me to take action steps with a peace that could only be the Holy Spirit working in me, transforming me slowly but surely. I’m excited to see how the Holy Spirit will work in all of our lives as we read through the Bible together this year.
I have found the same to be true in life. Today, I am focused on preparing for our trip to Light of Hope. In my first trip, my focus was on what to put in my suitcase. In my second trip, the suitcase is the easy part. More important is getting tuned into the Holy Spirit.