The humility of reading Scripture

When I get into truly studying a biblical text, there are times when I am overwhelmed with humility. It is when I discover that I have been asking questions of the text when the text wasn’t designed for MY question. The text was answering another set of questions.

If I can get into the text and discover THOSE questions… I find what the text is saying. It is then I find an opportunity for even more worship.

The place where I find this impacting my life the most is the Genesis 1 creation text. I am humbled every time I come to it because it cares not one bit for my small questions about a “literal” day. It instead calls me to a grander story.

And I find worship… if I will give up my smaller questions.

scripture

 

 

Anchored in the Creation Story

This week I will begin a sermon series tentatively called “Anchor in God.” It has morphed into several forms, but all of them begin in Genesis. At this point, it may only be a series out of Genesis to take us to Lent.

The more I teach the Old Testament as an adjunct the more I am deeply aware of the necessity of the Genesis story. The basic understanding of humanity and the story of God is rooted here. The stories and the characters should anchor us in God.

So I will begin with the creation story this week.

One paper I have read on the creation story (and this thought I have picked up from Goldingay as well, I believe) is focusing on the theological implications of the creation story. It’s not just these two sources, but I am looking at these sources currently. The thought that has captivated me from this paper is this:

We are not only created in the image of God, but created as the image of God.

It’s a powerful, beautiful thought.

All of our wrestling over the “literal” days of creation has taken us away from some very beautiful thoughts that really go to the core of why this story is in our Scriptures at all.

When we can grasp who we are as his creation we can possibly reach a place where we quit struggling and actually rest in God. We have an anchor. We have a deep worth to the Father. Tie yourself to that anchor.

 

We are created to be idols of God

This dangerous thought comes via Jason Hood in a book I am working through right now called Imitating God in Christ: Recapturing a Biblical Pattern.

Some quick thoughts:

When God created humanity, he made us to e his image-bearing idols. (Elsewhere in the Old Testament the word that is here translated “image” (Ex. 20) usually refers to idols that represent gods or kings.)… God makes image-bearers who reflect his glory.

And this passage:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Gen. 1:26-28, NIV)

Hood has this thought:

Every aspect of human identity, destiny and mission finds its genesis here in the Bible’s opening chapter: humans are God’s royal representatives, imaging the one true God as rule over the world he created.

Powerful stuff. I am challenged by his writing already!