In the beginning…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came to be through Him, and without Him nothing made had being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not suppressed it.”

Here we are at another beginning… 2018.

I’d like to go back and look at that first beginning.

“Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, in the likeness of ourselves; and let them rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the animals, and over all the earth and over every crawling creature that crawls on the earth.” Gen 1:26

If I understand the narrative correctly (and who really knows for sure), God created Earth – the atmosphere, seas, lush plant-life and all the new species – ascending in complexity and glory. With the laws of thermodynamics and gravity on this earth, things grew and died in a life-cycle. (Hugh Ross makes some compelling points in this book.) Satan had been cast down from heaven to the earth, so there was a bit of chaos from that.

Then, homo sapiens-sapiens. Created in the image of God Himself. Creative, reasoning, emotional. Us.

“Adonai took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it.” Gen 2:15

God had created the whole earth, but made a special place of beauty, where He could meet with the man He created. Then Adam is given his job: Take the beauty and order of the Garden – the Kingdom – take care of what’s here and make it bigger.

“God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” Gen 1:28

Subdue the chaos and multiply the beauty. Expand the peacefulness in the midst of chaos. The “multiply” part usually gets put into the “children” category, but it doesn’t say just that. “Multiply” carries a connotation of using everything that was there. Multiply the garden. The place where God walks and communes with man. Multiply the place where God is – in the midst of where God isn’t.

This is an interesting bit: Adam is told what to eat and not eat, THEN Eve is created – to help him do this job to “multiply”. But the narrative doesn’t say God told Eve personally about the food bit. It was Adam’s job to teach Eve about the Garden, their job, and about trusting God’s Word.

When the serpent comes to deceive, he goes to Eve and asks, “Did God really say…?” Because God hadn’t said it to her, she was easier to question. It was Adam’s responsibility to teach Eve that God is good and true to His Word.

That’s still our responsibility. And our job, our task, is still to expand the Garden. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

As we begin this new year, let’s go back to the beginning…. our task as humans to bring the beauty of Heaven to our little plot – and make it bigger. Expand the Kingdom.

How can we do that? Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. And Self-control.

As we move into a new year, let’s focus on bringing the Kingdom to our circle of influence. How we can be more like Jesus…

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