Posted by: mikebackup | January 6, 2012

God’s Epiphany

Genesis 1.1-5

 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge that January 6th was the official day that marks Epiphany, the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus.

Matthew 2.1

 1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magifrom the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

The word epiphany comes from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, which means “manifestation, striking appearance” and has become known as a sudden realisation or comprehension of the bigger picture. The Magi had a sudden realisation and so did the very early church, that Jesus is Christ.  Contrary to popular belief, epiphanies are not out of the blue occurrences of brilliance; they are a coming together of thoughts and ideas after a long period of reflection. Perhaps the best known epiphanies are when Archimedes shouted ‘Eureka’ when he stepped in the bath and noticed that the water displacement would solve his problem of how to work out whether cheaper metals had been used in supposed pure gold objects. Then there was when Newton understood gravity when he saw an apple fall from a tree. Both were brilliant realisations but came after long reflection on the issue.

Let’s move these thoughts on epiphany to our verses from Genesis. Do they represent God’s great epiphany? The thought is an interesting one and is the moment of realisation there at verse 4?

God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

Prior to that there was darkness, no form, and God was hovering over the waters. Then there was light and God realises that this is good – very good and from there the beauty of creation takes form.

This first part of Genesis divides Christians. Some believe it is divine truth through narrative, others that it is literal ‘as it happened’ truth. I personally don’t side with the seven day Creationists as they are known but I love the parallels we have here and the insights science have given us on the early universe. Science says there was darkness and then suddenly there was light and from light all good things have flowed. Evolution says that without light eyes could not have formed and neither could we.

God’s epiphany led to something very good. We know that it is astoundingly incredible. The various elements in our bodies were created when stars exploded billions of years ago. Science has found that is the only known place where the conditions for changing the basic building blocks of the universe can take place.

So creation is very good, but do we feel that when we look at the world?

Here is a short review of the past year followed by some moving photographs (both posted on Youtube). Some of the photographs are disturbing but are not graphic and gratuitous.

Here’s today’s epiphany – all those difficult images and stories are down to us not remembering or exercising the inherent goodness given to us in creation. If we remember the goodness given to us by God, respect it, love it and spread that essence of God’s original intention, then we become workers with the greatest love and source of all things –our creator God.

You are simply wondrous, words don’t do you justice. You are God’s good creation, be totally proud of that and walk into the world ambassadors of his love and goodness.

Prayers (courtesy of roots worship)         

We thank you, Lord,
that you didn’t do a one-off job with creation.
It is changing all the time,
and we all have our part to play in it.
Help us to live responsibly,
to develop our creativity and share our gifts,
and, most of all, to live lives full of praise to you,
our mighty creator and our God.

We give thanks to you, our great creator God,
for all the wonders of your creation.
We pray for the troubled parts of our world,
where there are wars, rebellions or natural disasters.
We pray for your healing and saving power,
for the restoration of law, order and stability,
and for the work of relief agencies.
We pray that we might take responsibility for
our own patch of your earth,
being thoughtful and caring in the way we treat it.
Bring wholeness, Lord, to our world
and to the lives of those we love.

For those who have no time to wonder, we pray.
For those who are too busy for beauty, we pray.
For those who cannot gasp at stars, we pray.

For those companies where value is shares, we pray.
For those industries that see land as income, we pray.
For those making too much profit to notice the earth, we pray.

For those who have been removed from the land, we pray.
For those whose land is tired and dry, we pray.
For those who starve in a world of plenty, we pray.

For those who have had enough, we pray.
For those who want to feel and know the seasons again, we pray.
For those who realise, we are part of creation, we pray.

renew our connection with creation,
and bring us to life once more.

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