Finishing What God Has Started
“And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day.” -Genesis 1:5b
Have you ever read something that you had to go back and re-read because it just didn’t seem to make sense? Yes, every time I read one of your messages, Pastor!(I set myself up for that one, didn’t I?)
Have you ever read something that was so far outside of the normal context or categories that you have that it just didn’t sound right or make sense?
When I was younger, and I read the creation accounts that concluded and there was evening, and there was morning… it always seemed like something was off. I didn’t get it. I was thoroughly confused. I mean, day begins with… well… day. The day begins when the sun comes up. The evening is when the sun goes down. Night is when I go to bed. That’s just how it is!
But as I was mentioning Sunday in the kick-off to our "In Just 7 Days" sermon series on the first seven days of creation, that’s not how the Jewish people think about time. For them, the day begins when the sun goes down.
When they begin a fast for their high holy days, the fast begins when the sun goes down. If a child is born in the evening, their birthday is considered to be the “next day.” They simply have a different conception of day and night.
And that’s why, when each day of creation is summarized with and there was evening, and there was morning, it makes perfect sense. Each day doesn’t begin with the sun coming up, or with you or I opening our eyes, each day begins in the dark, with God acting while you and I are nowhere to be seen. Each day doesn’t depend on or begin with us - it depends on and begins with God.
As I mentioned Sunday, this reinforces the fact that our human actions are always in response to God’s action. God began creating in the dark, before the sun rose, before what you and I consider the “day” began. And by the time humans come on the scene (day six), just like by the time you and I get out of bed (even if we’re super-early risers who wake before the sun) - we’re still acting afterGod has already been at work that day.
And if we want our work to be successful or meaningful, if we want our work to be fulfilling, the absolute best thing that we can do is to pay attention to what God has already been doing and to plug ourselves in there. All night long, while you and I slept, God was hard at work, preparing the day for us. When we rise, it’s like God presents us with a project that’s 99.9% completed… all we’ve got to do is tap-tap-tap that final nail in, or a quarter-turn of the screw and it’s finished. If we can recognize it, we’re going to feel really good about our work, a lot better than if we run off on our own and grab all the scrap materials to try and build something on our own, hoping God will “bless it.”
If we learn nothing else from that first day of creation, it’s worth noting that once the sun rises and we begin ourday, we do so in responseto the One who began working while we slept. So, how are you going to respond to God today?
Welcoming people to Grow in Jesus,