Sunday, September 30
A clear message flowing out of the Creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 is the overall harmony that existed at the end of the week of Creation. God’s final words that all was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) refer not only to aesthetic beauty but also to the absence of any element of evil or discord when God finished making this world and the humans who were to populate it. God’s original purpose in Creation included the harmonious coexistence and interdependent relationship of all life forms. It was a beautiful world created for the human family. All was perfect and worthy of its Creator. God’s ideal and original purpose for the world was one of harmony, unity, and love.
Read Genesis 1:26, 27. What do these verses teach about human uniqueness in contrast to the rest of the earthly creation as depicted in Genesis 1 and 2?
Genesis says that God created humankind in His image, something not said about anything else in the Genesis creation account. “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. …’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26, 27, NKJV). Although theologians have debated for centuries the exact nature of this image, and the nature of God Himself, many passages of Scripture present God’s nature as love.
Read 1 John 4:7, 8, 16. How can these verses help us to understand how we were originally created and how this could have impacted the original unity found at the Creation?
God is love, and because humans also can love (and in ways that the rest of the earthly creation certainly can’t), to be created in His image must include the ability to love. Yet, love can exist only in relationship with others. Thus, whatever else being made in the image of God entails, it must entail the capacity to love, and to love deeply.