In the beginning…..

1 01 2011

Well HAPPY NEW YEAR.
1st January 2011 is upon us. It was interesting to see the sky above Leyland lit up at midnight with fireworks, and lots of Chinese lanterns….people making wishes and watching their hopes for 2011 rise up, heavenward so to speak. I wonder what you hope and pray for in this coming year.
Because of this Biblefresh, Year of the Bible, initiative, one of my prayers is that I will truly engage with God’s Word, hear Him speak to me daily, and discover more of His will for my life. That wouldn’t be a bad start to 2011, I guess.

Anyway, here goes.
DAY ONE : Genesis 1 and 2; Matthew 1; Psalm 1

I’ve read Genesis 1 and 2 many times over. Here’s what I noticed this morning.
   
God existed before anything else – ‘In the beginning, God….’.

I can’t answer any of those questions about where God comes from, who  
created Him, who His mum and dad are (always being asked that in schools ministry). I just don’t know. He was always there. Beyond time. Timeless.

God’s Word is creative – ‘And God said…..and it was so.”
Wow – what power. God opens His mouth and BANG. Stuff happens (‘Message’). I have always found God’s Word to be powerfully creative, and re-creative, in my own life, shaping me and moulding me, instructing me and re-constructing me. May it be all the more so this year.

God names things – “God called the light “day”….the dry ground “land” – and gives them purpose
I love the sense that everything God creates has a name and a purpose. Nothing is wasted. Everything has value. I love the
almost throw-away comment, “He also made the stars”, in v. 16. Billions and billions of stars, without which life on earth
would not be possible (hence the picture of Whirlpool Galaxy today – just 31 million light years away from our own Milky Way galaxy – mind-blowing !).

God sees, and delights in His creation – “God saw that is was good….very good”
God, as Creator, is also judge of all that He has made. He is so happy with every step of creation, and takes a well-earned
break, a chill-out day, to recover, and to simply watch over and delight in every aspect of His work. He judges the beauty and
value of everything, whether things are ‘fit for purpose’.

God’s breath is life-giving – “the Lord God breathed into his (‘the man’s’) nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being”.
There is that wonderful interplay of the “ruach” (Hebrew word) of God, variously translated “breath”, “wind”, “spirit”.
Without the breath of God, humanity is nothing more than dust. But filled with the life-Spirit of God, we are offered life in all its fulness.
“Breathe on me, breath of God
 blend all my soul with thine
 until this earthly part of me
 glows with thy fire divine”

The “Bible In A Year” I’m following, also starts Matthew’s gospel today.
A genealogy of Jesus.
Sometimes God is so neat. Seven days of creation (including a rest day, for re-creation), and a genealogy for Jesus from Abraham which is divided into three sets of fourteen generations (6 x 7). There are times when God’s timing is so neat and perfect. Order out of chaos ?
The birth of Jesus Christ.
Again we see the creative power of God’s Word – “She (Mary) will give birth to a son…conceived from the Holy Spirit”
Again we see God name and give purpose – “You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
Again, God delights in His creation – drawing near as “Immanuel – God with us!”
Again, the “Breath / Spirit” of God is bringing life – planting the Word-made-flesh within Mary.

Finally, in the readings for today,
Psalm 1 tells us that the way to be blessed in life is to “delight in God’s word”, to meditate on it day and night, to breathe it in. Then we shall be like “a tree planted by streams of water”, yielding fruit, and with never-withering leaves, always thriving. (That tree sounds a bit like the Tree of Life in Gen.2, and certainly the Tree in Rev. 22 (We get to that on 31st Dec. 2011…..not long to go, eh).

ANYWAY…..my re-creative thoughts to end:

GOD, Your words speak creation into being.
GOD, Your words name and give purpose to all You create
GOD, Your words show how, before anything was, You have always been.
GOD, Your words show how You delight in Your creation.
GOD, Your words reveal the Breath-Spirit behind life itself,
and that to be full of LIFE, we must let Your Word take root in us,
and Your Spirit-Breath fill us, over and over again.
GOD, You are awesome, wonderful, amazing, mind-blowing, glorious,
and You are here.
Immanuel, God with us.
AMEN.

“O holy child of Bethlehem, descend to us we pray.
 Cast out our sin and enter in – be born in us today.
 We hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell.
 O come to us, abide with us, our Lord, Immanuel.”

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4 responses

1 01 2011
revphil2011

Talk about “neatness”.
Today is 1.1.11
How neat is that.

1 01 2011
Welcome 2011 and the Year of the Bible « Ramblings from Red Rose

[…] So I hope you will all join the Methodists in Great Britain in celebrating the Bible, in particular by reading it. I hope to post on here resources I find, and I am going to start with this one: my friend and former circuit colleague, the Rev. Phil Gogh has started blogging and will read through the bible in a year, posting his thoughts. He is currently the minister at Leyland Methodist Church in the Chorley & Leyland Circuit. Phil has a great way of making connections with his illustrations, so I highly recommend his new blog! You can find it here and his first post here. […]

1 01 2011
sally

welcome to the blogosphere Phil- love this post, like the idea of God being neat!

1 01 2011
Nick Moxon

Great start to the year Phil! Thanks for your musings – I’ll keep logging on to read what you’ve got to share on the readings

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