The Greatest Gift
Reading Selection for December 2nd
“Life Begins as a Love Story”
Genesis 1:27 (NLT) – “So God created human beings in His own image.”
As a kid I used to wonder why God created humans last. In my childish way of thinking, I would have created the most important thing first. But growing up in a church tradition that was way more concerned about good behavior than a relationship with the Creator of the universe, we tended to focus on the part of the story where Adam and Eve fell and sin entered in. My big take away from that emphasis on human failure was to spend the bulk of my life simply trying not to make mistakes because it made God mad.
That’s not living. Trying not to mess up, trying not to sin, trying not to fail is not the abundant life Jesus came to give me. Behavior management is always an inferior goal. The gospel, what God intended all along, is so much more than that. But I digress…
Back to Creation…beyond childhood Sunday School, I hadn’t thought much about it until a few years ago our Bible study group did an intense study of Genesis. For several weeks I was immersed in the study of that first week and the wonder of all that happened. As we talked about the order that came from nothing it became apparent to me, as I am sure the rest of the class already knew, that man was created last because God was preparing a place for him first.
My practical, efficient mind that strives to sort and order all the information it takes in, blessed God’s decision to do it that way, and so I finally said, “Oh, that makes sense.”
Well, of course it makes sense, but recently I’ve been looking at the totality of Scripture a little differently. Instead of looking at it as a sum of 66 parts of information, I’ve started seeing it from beginning to end as one continuous Love story. As I move through Scripture and allow God to reveal His Love for me, the journey has changed. It’s no longer about gathering facts to build a case for why we must live up to God’s perfect standards, it’s about knowing the Author and allowing His Love to transform me. The journey has become about intimate relationship with Him and it’s no longer about behavior management.
So once again back to Creation, now I see that yes He was preparing a place where we could live. But it’s more than that– He was lovingly preparing a home for His bride. All of Creation was intended as a gift for us to enjoy. The Creator wanted to “Wow!” us with His Love and beauty. He wanted us to be wonderstruck at just what great lengths He would go to in order to Love us well.
He’s been coming for us even from the beginning.