In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. – Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created. In the beginning there was nothing at all…but there was God. There was nothing and there was God…and God created. He spoke and there was light…and it was good. He spoke and there was earth…and it was good. He spoke and there were animals…and they were good. Whatever he spoke it came to be…and it was good. The pièce de résistance of God’s creation was man and woman…spoken into being, created in the very image and likeness of God. At this creation God said that it was very good. In the beginning God created.
But almost from the beginning this men and women that God created seemed to be about undoing God’s very good creation. Man and woman were made for one another, yet Adam and Eve are at one another’s throat from nearly the beginning! Cain rises up and kills Abel, his brother. Abraham pretends his wife is his sister to save his own skin. Esau sells his birthright for a bowl of soup! Jacob steals Esau’s blessing. Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery. This very good creation of God’s is at odds with itself. People are at odds with one another. People are at odds with creation. People are at odds with God. That’s the story here…God creates…and we tear down.
yet still there is God…creating! His work of creation doesn’t end with very good. he’s always about the business of creation. Adam and Eve rise up against God and tear down the very good order he has brought out of chaos and God creates. He creates clothes for them when they were ashamed of their nakedness. God creates. After Cain kills his brother Abel, as he’s being sent away fearful for his own safety, God creates. He creates a mark on the forehead of Cain so that he might be protected. God creates. With sin crouching so closely at the door of creation itself God creates a nation, a chosen people, headed by father Abraham; that despite their failures and shortcomings God would remain faithful to his promise. God creates. With Esau and Jacob at odds God creates reconciliation. God creates. With Joseph and his murderous, slave trading brothers God creates forgiveness. God creates. Despite our best efforts, even as we are bent of undoing God’s very good creation God creates. God is always about the business and work of creation!
We might call this work of creation that God is about grace. Over flowing, abundant, ordinarily extraordinary grace that comes to us anew each and every day. In his little catechism Martin Luther reflects on God’s work of creation. Of course God creates us and the heavens and the earth…but there’s more! “God daily and abundantly provides shoes and clothing, food and drink, house and farm, spouse and children, fields,livestock, and all property – along with all the necessities and nourishment for this body and life.” But there’s more that God creates! “God protects me against all danger and shields and preserves me from all evil.” The creation seeks to tear itself apart…and we are a part of that. Yet still there is God…always there is God…creating! Bringing light out of darkness; life out of death; order out of chaos. All around us, each and every day, everywhere we look creation seems to be coming apart. Yet always there is God…and what does he do? Create!