Opening thoughts on the power and relevance of Genesis for our world today. Part of a sermon preached on Genesis 1:1-2:3, June 23, 2019 by the Rev. Justin Clemente at New Creation Church (Anglican), Hagerstown, MD. Week one of “Genesis: The Big Read,” a continuing sermon series through the whole book of Genesis, Ordinary Time 2019.
Back to Genesis
Genesis tells us we live in God’s world. We were created by God’s powerful word and brought forth from the dust. We were made to enjoy and glorify God and be his image-bearers over creation. Genesis tells us that God’s world was created with exquisite goodness and yet became subject to evil and death through mankind’s fall. But Genesis also sets the foundation for God’s road of redemption. It traces the beginning of the scarlet thread that runs all way to the cross. In the words of the Radical Book for Kids (available in our church library!), it begins to tell us how God made the world, how we broke the world, and how Jesus fixes the world.
In this series, I want to give you an invitation to go back to Genesis and to discover it afresh. And I want to begin by saying that going back to Genesis – starting there in how we think about the world around us – is as urgent and as important as it ever has been. We live in time where the very foundations of the created order are being bucked in a way not seen in society in since…well, ever. We live in the iWorld today, you know? It’s not coincidental that the most popular smartphone we have is called the iPhone – it’s a reflection of us, centered on us. But in opposition to the iWorld of today, Genesis tells us, again, that we live in God’s world. We are not the arbiter of truth – God is. We do not create our own image – God already has. We do not create our own gender – we are enfleshed and engendered by God. We are known by God and created for relationship with him.
Here’s the point: Genesis is bedrock foundation for a person being able to understand who they are and what the world is. Furthermore, until a person sees themselves as a creature of God, created by God, they will not be able to hear the Gospel of God. This is why it’s so important that we as Christians ensure that our worldview is shaped and informed and consistent with Genesis: both so that we can faithfully give it to others and so that we can steadfastly continue in the Faith. We must also understand this: the biblical worldview given to us in Genesis is being, by some, hammered to death in our society right now, and it’s not letting up any time soon. So we better have it straight, both for the life of the world we’re called to minister to and for ourselves.