Well, here’s post #1 of 365. I plan to post what I learn about Jesus from my devotions (from my through-the-Bible reading plan) – for each day of 2012. See my Jesus Hung Up post for more about this quest.
Today’s Readings: Genesis 1:1-2:25, Psalm 1:1-6, Proverbs 1:1-7, Matthew 1: 1-25
I recall driving down the street in the past year or so, feeling distinctly far from God. My doubts once more began their unwelcome rise within.
For some time as I drove, I took in my surroundings: buildings, cars, houses, streets, trees, grass, sky, sun – complicated things of man and beautiful things of nature.
I imagined for a time these things existing apart from an individual creator. I knew then what it felt like to believe that there was no creator, that the things of nature had somehow arrived and that man had done the rest.
I understood for a while how an atheist perceives the universe. It was a lonely thought, scary for one who had believed so strongly for so long.
But my mind would not let me stay there. My mind wouldn’t even let me be an agnostic. Logic led me to an individual, intelligent Creator: where there’s a clock, there’s a clock-maker. The creation of man made it even more apparent: how did the brain that developed all that I saw (and the iPod) simply evolve, starting with a bang?
No, there had to be something intelligent driving all of this.
So what does this all have to do with my devotions today?
Jesus showed up at creation, as the Creator.
I remember the first time I heard the notion that the Trinity was revealed in the Creation accounts of Genesis 1. There was the Spirit of God hovering over the waters. Then God created male and female – the two sexes – to somehow represent “us,” the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Hebrew text uses the plural which is translated (vs. 26):
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness …”
Centuries before Jesus showed up on the scene in Bethlehem, God slips the Trinity into the Hebrew Scriptures.
And the Trinity also showed up at the Nativity.
Isn’t it like God to repeat the point in my reading today? The Trinity also shows up in the Matthew 1 Nativity story – Holy Spirit, Son, and Father.
- The power of the Holy Spirit impregnates Mary (vs. 18, 20).
- The angel tells Joseph to name the baby Jesus (which means “God Saves”) because “He will save the people from their sins.” (vs. 21, 25)
- In verse 23, Matthew quotes Isaiah’s famous prophecy (7:14) that a virgin will give birth to a son who shall be called Immanuel. Matthew explains that the name means “God with us.” The Greek word for God used here – Theos – was long regarded as a description of the Supreme Being who both created and owns all things.
The Creator God, a Trinity, shows up in both these passages. And both passages touch on the logic by which I remain a Christian.
Logic leads me to a Creator God. And logic also leads me to Jesus as the Creator-God. Why? Because every other religion’s description of God is of one who somehow relies on our good works to attain him or ignores our sinful nature.
Only the God who is Jesus came to get us (to be with us!) and died on the Cross to redeem us from our sins (to save us!).
Creation and Cross: the two facts that keep me in the game when doubts arise.
And two facts that showed up about Jesus in today’s devotions.
I think 2012 is going to be a VERY interesting year…