come and see

John 1:46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.“Come and see,” answered Philip.


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Let’s start at the very beginning….. – Genesis: 1

I have been asked to put on the text from the talk that went with our Creative Creation Craft, so here it is.

The reading was from Genesis Chapters  1 & 2. Genesis comes from a Greek word meaning beginning or origin. Genesis has roots in the word genealogy – the study of our beginning, our family tree. And in the story of creation we trace our beginning, our origin, our genealogy right back to God. That’s where we all started from, with a breath of God.

Now I will just get the seven days or seven ages argument over with. There are Christians who firmly believe one or the other: that Creation took 6 solar days (days as we know) or that creation took seven ages and that human kind came onto an Earth that was already very old. For me, and I make that clear FOR ME it is not important. I think the important thing is that we honour God as creator.

Firstly let’s talk about the order of Creation

The first three days God forms –

  • Day 1 God forms light and the cosmos,
  • Day 2 God forms  the sea and sky, and
  • Day 3 God forms dry land and plants.

Then over the next three days God fills it.

  • Day 4 The cosmos is filled with sun, moon and stars;
  • Day 5 The sea and sky is filled with birds and fish
  • Day 6 The land is filled animals and humankind.

The order of creation has been proven it had to be so. For example there needed to be plants   BEFORE we were created. Why – one reason, one really good reason is we need the oxygen they produce to be able to breathe. Photosynthesis (the process plants change carbon dioxide (what we breathe out) to oxygen (what we breathe in) was not known when Genesis was written. Aah but God knew.

And on the seventh day  – God rested. The Hebrew word used to describe God’s resting from his work is shabat which means to stop or to cease. It’s from this Hebrew word shabat that we get the word Sabbath. And the Sabbath is the known as the day of rest.  In Jewish tradition the Sabbath is Saturday, while Christians moved the Sabbath to Sunday to commemorate the day Jesus rose from the dead.  The Sabbath is so important it is the 4th of the Ten Commandments: Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. One way I try to honour this is by not doing anything on a Sunday that causes someone else to work – such as going to the grocery store. I know people who fast on a Sunday morning before coming to Church so that for them they are drawn closer to God.  How about doing someone else’s job for them – you know the dishes if they always do the dishes? I don’t think it matters what you do today as long as what you do is done to show God you love him, and to show others you love them too.

I love love love how God created us – from the earth (the lowest substance) and a breath from God (the highest substance).  Whether we acknowledge it or not – we have the spirit of God in us, God is a part of us. God created us in His own Image – So what does that mean. Do we all look like God: you know a head, eyes, mouth, arms and legs etc or do we have his spiritual image, the character qualities of God: morality, compassion, intelligence and so on. Amy Grant sang a song called “My Fathers Eyes” which is about people seeing God in her eyes – her soul as it is said our eyes are the window of our soul. That song has had a big impact on me as I long to have My Fathers Eyes. 

So here we are created with nothing to do so God gave us a couple of jobs: go forth and multiply (simply make more of us) and manage his creation, care for his creation: not neglect and destroy.

I marvel at God’s handiwork in the native fish in our stream that climb over rocks to go upstream, the Godwits in New Brighton who fly to Alaska each year, photos taken from space of the planets and stars, the smell of a rose, the grasp of a newborn baby’s hand over your finger, the view of our harbour as you come over the top Dyers Pass – it all takes my breath away.

Dick Tripp has written a fantastic book (The Biblical Mandate on Caring for Creation) on how the Bible tells us to care for creation. On page 123 he says that we all have different gifts and different opportunities and it is up to us to decide what we can do individually and collectively. Dick lists the 6 Rs as a way to do this:

REDUCE our consumption of non-essentials to healthy living

REUSE where possible to reduce waste

RECYCLE – this is what God does

RESIST: the temptations that abound  in our materialistic society

RESTORE what has been lost where that is possible

REJOICE in the goodness of God in all that he has made and all he provides.

I challenge you to do something specifically this week that shows God that you care for his Creation for in doing so you are not only following what is said in the Bible, you are showing God your love for him.

Vanessa

 


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Creative Creation

IMG_0139We started last year (2012) right at the very beginning – the story of Creation – and wanted something for the younger age groups to do to help them remember the order, and to remind them of all the gifts God has given to us all.

This wall hanging is quick and simple. We did quite a bit of preparation before hand – cutting the card, the tissue paper, and the straws etc. – although if you are working with older children then they can do it more or less from scratch. Basically, make up each of the seven cards, attach them to a piece of ribbon (we just used staples to do this) and it is ready to hang. And you can make these really big, or really small, depending on your preference.

So, Day 1 – God forms light and the cosmos. Take a piece of black card and a piece of white card that is half the size of the black one. Glue the white card onto the black.

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Day 2 – God forms the sea and sky: A piece of blue card to start with and glue on a smaller piece of blue tissue paper which has been scrunched a bit for texture. Make sure this one is put on the ribbon the right way up – the tissue paper is meant to represent the seas.

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Day 3 – God forms dry land and plants: Here you will see some green paper has been glued to the black card – or you can just use green card to start with. Attach a 7cm length of drinking straw into which you put a small sprig of leaves/flowers.

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Day 4 – The cosmos is filled with sun, moon and stars: An easy one this – black card with stickers or cut out shapes of stars, moon and sun!

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Day 5 – The sea and sky is filled with birds and fish: Any colour background you want (you will have gathered that I had a plentiful supply of black!) and stickers or cut-puts of fish glued on. Either gather your own feathers (!) or buy some from a craft supply store. We found it best to staple the feathers on.

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Day 6 – The land is filled animals and humankind: stickers/pictures of animals on one side of the card – give the children free rein on this, so they get to choose their own favourites. On the other half they can have either a picture of themselves (which I think is nicer), or cut one from a magazine.

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Day 7 – God rested: Just a plain piece of card with a sticky label with the Bible verse printed on it – “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that He had done.” (I know it looks like a spelling mistake, but honest, it wasn’t – the margins on the labels weren’t set correctly)

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Attach the individual cards to the ribbon (in the right order) and there you have it

And as to what we talked about – well Vanessa’s talk is available to read here