Attached is the text of my message for September 10, 2017 on Genesis 1:1-2-4, the story of creation, and John 1.1-5, the beginning of John's prologue. A recording of my message at Our Savior's is above.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
These two lessons tell about creation. These two texts tell the same story, but they tell it from different perspectives.
Genesis describes the details of creation. First this happened, and it was good. Then this happened, and it was also good. John explains what that all means.
Creation in Genesis happens in pairs. On days one, two and three, creation occurs by things being separated and put into place. Light is separated from darkness. The sky is separated from the water. The land is separated from the water.
Then, beginning at the end of day three, light and life comes into these separate areas. Plant life comes to the land. The lights of the sun, moon and stars come to the sky. Life comes to the sea and the waters. Life comes to the land, concluding with human life, made in the image and likeness of God.
There is an order and a process to God’s creation. God speaks. God sees. God separates and moves. God calls. God says it, and it happens. Words turn into actions. As John tells us, the Word was with God and through the Word all things came into being.
The Word is Jesus Christ. Through Christ, all things came into being. Without him not one thing came into being. John purposely began his Gospel harkening back to the story of creation from Genesis to tell us that the one through whom we are saved and forgiven, the one who died to defeat death, the one crucified to show us we cannot do anything to lose God’s love, was the one through whom all things were made.
God spoke the Word of creation, and it happened. The Word turned into action. His Words did what they set out to, just as His promises are true.
Through Jesus, life was spoken into being. Through Jesus, death has been defeated. Through Jesus, and his resurrection, we have light, light for all people, light that draws and calls all people to him, to God. This is done through the gift of love and grace, given freely for all people.
All people were created by God in God’s image. Listen again to that passage from Genesis. "So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
We are made in God’s image, in God’s likeness. We are made in the image of God, but we can only live into the fulfillment of that responsibility because of Jesus Christ. By his death on the cross, he has allowed us to be seen sinless in the eyes of God. God sees Christ when God sees us, because of the Cross, we truly are made in the image of God.
We were made to have dominion over creation. That does not mean to dominate, but to supervise, to manage, to be responsible for. I fear that our mismanagement and abuse has lead to the escalation of storms like the horrific hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
We were made in the image of God to continue the work of God. We were made to model in creation what God had done in creation. As John wrote, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Christ came to give life and to be a light. A light that shines into the darkness which the darkness cannot overcome.
We were created, and we are called, to be that light, to stand out, to shine out in the darkness of the world, and to provide a light that cannot be put out by the darkness of the world.
We are made in the image of God to love one another, because we are all made in the image of God. The person or people who you fear, who you dislike, who you avoid, who you hate, bear the imago dei; they share the eikon theou; they wear the likeness of God, just like you do.
In the time of Creation, God’s Word did what it was meant to. It turned chaos into order. It turned darkness into light. From nothingness, it brought life. It brought light and life into our world and our lives.
May we bring that light into the darkness we face, and may we share that light with those in need. AMEN.
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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