Posts Tagged ‘creation’

A Journey Worth Taking: Creation (part 2 of 2)

You can read more about what I am doing and see a schedule for reading/posting here.  First post is here.  Second post is here.

I love how Drew is directing us in chapter six to make God the priority of our lives – that that will be the most meaningful way for us to “find ourselves”.  This, again, is counter to the current notion of self-discovery that pushes us out to the edges instead of to the center of all life.  Or the notion that I (and I alone) am the definitive voice for all notions, whether they be about who I am or what I will do.  In discussion Psalm 34:3 (“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exult his name together.” – KJV), I loved the following statement:

How strange this language is when you think about it.  Isn’t God already big – isn’t he already infinite?  Indeed he is.  The problem lies with us.  For multiple reasons we have difficulty seeing his greatness and therefore must train our vision.  We also have difficulty giving God center stage and therefore must train our hearts.”

This then leads to Drew coming back to the notion of all work being sacred and therefore we can “worship while we work…Our pursuit of calling unfolds in God’s world, not ours.”  And finally there is this thought:

Our calling…is ‘missional’ – not in the narrow sense of going into foreign missions (though it might include this), but in the much broader sense of finding and promoting him in everything we do.”

How rare I imagine that this is in our lives and how often we miss the opportunities to see God, let alone promote God in everything we do.

This article (an interview really) on byfaithonline fits nicely with the topic of this book.

(I will probably post separately on the topic of chapter seven, “Finding Ourselves in Community”)

A Journey Worth Taking: Creation (part 1 of 2)

You can read more about what I am doing and see a schedule for reading/posting here.  First post is here.

In A Journey Worth Taking, Charles Drew is using a reformed framework for looking at the story of Scripture with a big lens:  Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation.  Drew calles this a “theology map” to take us the right way when appliedEach is a reality that we know or will know and each becomes a helpful means for thinking through the big picture of our lives before the Living God.  Naturally, we start with Creation and from this place I think Drew offers some very encouraging thoughts to engage us as we think about our purpose in this world (that is the subtitle after all).  We’ll consider this section in two parts, starting with chapters three through five (six and seven next Wednesday).

Creation matters.  My creation matters – that is, Who made me and how I was made goes down to the core of who I am.  We don’t often think like this, but Drew directs us to Psalm 139 to be reminded of this beautiful truth:  “If I matter simply because I am God’s creature (and I do) how much more significant must I be because I am made in God’s image.” And at the end of chapter three, Drew pronounces this:  “We matter, in other words, even when we are completely clueless as to what we have been placed to do on this earth to do.”

In chapter four, Drew introduces the concept of lifework:  “By lifework I mean the entire business of living out my existence in the presence of God.” For many, this will include our employment, but more so “it inludes the whole man’s engagement with the fullness of the life that God had set before him – large things and small things, social things and intellectual things, noted things and ignored things.” This, to me, is a decidedly different way to look at life and work – bringing them together, presenting a much bigger and whole picture of our lives.  This then, allows Drew to challenge the traditional notions of what is a “good work” or even a “good job”.  This does not lead to devaluing legitimate work, but actually enlarges the idea of work and that our work (whatever it might be, paid or unpaid, fulfilling or frustrating) matters.  In this way, we model the Creator God who made us in His image.

Drew then, in chapter five, challenges the sacred/secular divide that we have become comfortable with in the church.  From Drew’s perspective, “all work is sacred…God shows up everywhere”, stemming from the doctrine of creation that is the content of this part of the book.   Admittedly, this can make people (both Christian and non-Christian) uncomfortable.  Both might prefer God to stick to the “known” arenas of life (like at church on Sunday) and not spill into other areas (like vocation or music or lifework).

What encouraged or perplexed you?  What ideas are new to you?

Evidences of God’s Grace

We recently moved our office desk into our bedroom and it is placed under our window, so as I type this I have just been watching two cardinals (one male & one female) in the backyard.  I’m not a big birdwatcher, but I have been delighted to see the vibrant color of the male cardinal.  I find that there are reminders of God’s grace all around – often it is His common grace to all people.

Have you ever thought of flowers in a hospital room as evidence of God’s grace?  I find I am tempted to think of them as just a way to brighten up an often sterile environment. Grace often seems lacking or withheld in the midst of our trials. We have trouble seeing through the clouds of our sorrow or fears.  But this morning, I thought anew.  Hospital visits are often draining emotionally for me, but I saw the flowers on this visit in a different way. They lifted my spirits – really the Lord lifted them.  Their beauty reminded me of the connection of that we have with the Creator of the universe, whom we have access to through Christ.  It changes my reading of Scripture – it changes my thinking and I hope it changes the way I suffer, when suffering comes.

Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.