Formation Fridays: Begin at the Beginning
It is almost a little too convenient that Kevin started a sermon series on Beauty this last week, and now we are going to spend some time here reflecting on the Fruit of the Spirit of goodness.
Scripture begins with a story about a God who brings order to chaos. On successive days, this God speaks and things happen. God speaks and then there is light. God speaks and separates the earth from the sky. God speaks and then there is land, then plants, then animals, then people.
It’s interesting, that on the first two days of creation when God speaks, the text does not say what God saw. It is only after there are plants that God saw that how good it was.
I use to paint. Every project started the same way (especially projects with acrylic paint)—I would have a great idea. I would ready my canvas, I would start on a background, and I would get into it and start thinking, “Well, this sucks.” Was I needlessly hard on myself? Maybe. But I couldn’t see the beauty in it, the goodness in the project, until it started to take more shape. Once it started to look like on the canvas what I envisioned in my head, I could see the goodness of it.
That is kind of how I imagine God here. The first two days in this story are God setting the ground work. There is no proclamation of goodness until things start to happen. But then once they start happening, it is a snowball.
This whole narrative culminates with God creating humanity. God decides to make humanity in God’s own image, and then God declares it very good
I believe there is a reason that this story is here, right where it is first thing in our Bibles. Because the first thing that God sees when God looks on creation is that it is good. God sees goodness first.
Sure, in a few pages things take a turn. But, that does not cancel out the goodness that God declares in the beginning.
May we begin with ourselves where God begins with us: at the beginning. May we acknowledge our inherent goodness that God planted in us. May we seek for that goodness to grow in the cultivation of the Spirit.
Grace and love to you,