Day 1: Out of Nothing

Day 1: Out of Nothing

Out of Nothing

Read Genesis 1:1-5. For further reflection, read Genesis 1:1 – 2:3.

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.” That is the opening sentence of C.S. Lewis’ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. What a singularly imaginative sentence that immediately piques your interest and draws you into the story! The beginnings of a story are important as they draw the readers into the world, characters, and the settings of the story.

The Bible itself begins with an amazing sentence that many of us have glossed over in our own reading – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This sentence has lost its lustre partly because we have heard and read that sentence many times. However, if we read it afresh once more, we realize that it is a sentence that hides a treasure trove of theological insights about who God is and what our world is like.

Reading that sentence before the advent of modern astronomy would have provided a sense of the majesty of God. Once upon a time, the heavens, i.e. the sky and the universe, was a source of curiosity and wonder for mankind. Hearing that it is God himself who created the entire vast array of the night sky would have instilled a sense of awe and worship of this God.

However, with the arrival of modern astronomy, we begin to learn just how vast the entire universe is. Our solar system is a part of a galaxy named the Milky Way that contains an estimated 100 billion stars. Based on the observation of astronomers as of 2020, there are an estimated 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. That is a lot of stars! The discovery of modern science about the size of our universe should increase our awe and worship of the God who created everything.

The beginning of the Bible gives us a wonderful picture of how God has set up this world to operate. There is a sense of wonder and accomplishment as we read of God creating each element on each successive day. The sun, moon, and stars (day 4) to fill the night and the day (day 1). Creatures of the sea and birds (day 5) two fill the earth and the sky (day 2). Finally, we have creatures on the ground (day 6) to fill the land together with the vegetation (day 3). On day 6, mankind is given special attention and mention in Genesis 1:26-31 above all of the other creation of God.

Out of nothing, God created everything. He stands above and beyond all creation as its Creator. While God is involved intimately with creation, we must not forget that he is distinct from creation itself. Theologians have called this idea the Creator-creature distinction. The best analogy for this is to think of the relationship between an author and the written novel, e.g. J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings.

It is thus of supreme significance that God our Creator comes into our world in the person of Christ. That baby born in a manger is the condescension of God to our level, out of sheer grace and love for his people. He is not merely God our Creator; he is also Immanuel – God with us.

That is the glory of our celebration of Christmas. We are not merely celebrating the birth of another child into the world, though each birth is unique and worth celebrating. We are celebrating in awe and wonder of this transcendent all-powerful God who created everything out of nothing, and yet came to be with us in the person of Christ.

  • Praise God that he created us and this world for us to enjoy
  • Praise God that he is both transcendent and personal, sovereign and intimate, almighty and loving
  • Pray that God will keep you focused on Christ this Christmas season instead of being distracted by material concerns