God made all this world – from nothing.
Considering the desperate mess we’ve made of things, this quote from Augustine is a timely reminder: God spoke and formed all this world from nothing else but his own word. And He still speaks. Even now, God is creating, shaping, and making all he wills to come alive.
Behold, He is making something new. Can we see it?
Mankind was made for joy. Male and female, God created them in his own joyful image. He formed them from the dust of the earth and breathed into his children a spirit of delight, wonder, and tender concern for each other and all that he had made.
Behold, all this is yours! God said to them. I’ve withheld nothing good from you. Come, beloved ones, let’s walk and enjoy all this world I’ve made good.
But mankind’s increasingly high opinion of herself – eventually choosing her own counsel and wisdom over God’s – corrupted her from the inside out. She wondered if God was holding out on her?
Mankind wondered if there was possibly something more she couldn’t see? She deliberated over the half-truths and winsome words of the serpent. She looked at the fruit and it seemed good to her. Why would a good God keep that from me? she wondered. And so she ate of it, and her eyes were opened, just as God had warned her they would be.
Where are you? God called out to them as they hid from his presence. Why are you hiding? And God himself fashioned with his own hands a better covering for their nakedness. God sacrificed an innocent – shed it’s blood in Eden – to cover their shame.
Behold, I am making something new. Can you see it?
God created mankind to bless and flourish in his world, but instead, our words and deeds have stained and wrecked the world, causing all it’s people to cry out in distress. And still God speaks.
Rather than cultivate the tender care that God had breathed into them, every new generation has contributed afresh to the earth’s groaning. The world staggers and splits under the weight of the curse. And still God speaks.
Behold, I am making a new thing in this world. Can you see it?
Without God’s speaking and making, mankind cannot stand. When we live by our own light, and distrust God’s counsel, we sow discord and reap grief. Without the light and breath of God’s word our lives darken and harden.
And still God speaks.
When we live by our own wisdom, and reject God’s word, everything we touch turns to dust. We abuse our sisters, neglect our neighbors, and wish our brothers dead. We grow calloused and confused and our wonder runs dry. Our joy is no more.
And still God’s word speaks out to those waiting anxiously in the wilderness.
Repent and be saved! declares John the Baptist every Advent. Look! God is doing a new thing! Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
Advent is a season to remember that God’s best word, Immanuel, has come to reverse the world’s curse as far as it is found. He is making a new creation – a new kingdom – from the inside out. Can we see it?
Jesus, the innocent lamb of God, offered himself as our best covering
This is my broken body, given for you.
God provided the only sacrifice that could cover mankind’s shame.
This is my beloved son, given for you.
Christ broke the curse. His kingdom has come and his will is being done.
This is my spirit – my life and joy – breathed into you.
“Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope…”
Peace to you and yours today as you wait and look for the Lord who speaks and is making all things new.