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Creation and Re-Creation.

When we think of Genesis what do we focus on? (Sadly, too often I think we ignore it altogether!) Augustine focused his eyes on Genesis three and the fall of humanity and ‘original sin’ -we are all born with a predisposition and an inevitability of sin- but more recently the pendulum has swung back with the reminder that the original plan of God was blessing, original blessing and that God’s goodness is indelible in the world and all of his creation, however much sin takes hold God’s likeness and nature will still been able to be glimpsed (even if just ever so briefly) within his creation.
Those of us who are passionate about issues of justice, compassion, ecology and sustainable living see much with Genesis that we want to highlight too.
Yet primarily I believe that Genesis is a creation account in God’s recreation narrative, God who makes everything is making everything new and one day he will bring this to it fullness of completion. Yet too often we don’t see scripture as a recreation narrative which leaves us not quite sure what to do with Genesis!
Often we live lives full of ‘deaths’ -or what feels like deaths- but we are also people who believe in the goodness of God where his creation is also filled with resurrection opportunities.
The idea of making new is a powerful image to partner with God in, building new relationships -possibly even on the foundations of ones that had been broken, new seasons in marriages and friendships that looked like they were dying, new opportunities sometimes even in the shell of the old, new challenges and new and fresh vocations awaiting us to pick up.
None of us is too old or set in our ways for a new idea or possibility, indeed it is often such things that people say “these keep me young”. In the west we do not have the same deference for the older people that exists within the east. Age does not always bring wisdom, sometimes aging can be incredibly destructive as we become jaded, cynical, bitter, controlling where we become a cork rather than a catalyst, sometimes we can age ‘badly’ bringing out the worst that is within us. Yet, too many of us know older folk with a zest for life, although their bodies are old they have something very special about them which is very much alive, energising, they have learned -although their bodies have grown frail- how to keep their hearts and minds young to not allow aging to be corrosive. Yet, age is sometimes just a number, sometimes younger people have aged badly their outlook has diminished and hope has evaporated.
We are ourselves ‘new creations’ when we are in Christ, when we come to Jesus our old lives of sin and shame are dealt with at the cross of Christ and we are cleansed from sin, forgiven, restored -made me. The Apostle Paul says this “if anyone is in Christ they are a new creation, the old has gone and the new has come”. As the Spirit of God -the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and makes us alive in Christ- works in us I believe we often have to leave the attitude of death and decay that creeps into the human heart and is often so debilitating for the community at the foot of the cross of Christ and ask him to fill us afresh with himself, his life giving Holy Spirit. We need to discover -even though the grey hairs might be appearing- what it means when Jesus instructed us all to become like little children.
Yet, being a new creation is more that developing a new attitude but also the promise of resurrection and eternity, as we are a new creation we death for Christian is a comma rather than a full stop. I remember hearing an anecdote of a great Christian Minister who died and at his funeral he had written these words “you have come here today mourning my death, but I am more alive than I have ever been!” We are people of the resurrection. We live in a world where resurrection is deeply interwoven into the created order, after death comes life, the death of a caterpillar is the birth of a butterfly, a resurrection picture whereby the butterfly is more glorious and beautiful than the caterpillar reminding me of the words of scripture that says “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart can comprehend what God has in store for those who love him!”
At the heart of the universe is a creator God who not let sin, death, destruction, disease have the last word but rather will end with the restoration of all things for all eternity.

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