Devotion of the Day

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Genesis 1.3-5

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

–Devotion–

God speaks, it happens.  Whatever IT is.  IT in this case is the light.  God creates by his Word.  This brings out two huge features to the story we Christians tell about things.  1) God is the creator, and 2) that creation comes by speaking. 

Regarding point 1:  God creates, not us.  That is a hard point for us human creatures to swallow.  We have come to think of ourselves as creators in many ways.  When that happens, the world gets turned upside-down.  Think of Babel.  We humans are not creators, we are manipulators.  All we can do is take the things of this creation and manipulate them.  Trees to 2×4’s, gold and silicon to computer chips, but nothing is created by us humans.  That is, as I said, hard for us to swallow.  If we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are creators, then a creating God has no place in our stories and we alone stand as kings and gods and creators of our own stories and beginnings. 

Regarding point 2: our God is a verbal, and nothing has changed to this day.  He speaks to create light.  He is still speaking.  How is it that faith is created?  Hearing, and hearing the Word of God.  Where is that word?  It is the Scriptures, and the preaching of the Church (so long as that preaching is truly Scriptural and does not look past Jesus), it is the Sacraments when God speaks again, and again, and again.  Our prayer is that God will never be silenced upon this earth, but especially in the Church. 

Pastor Beltz

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Devotion of the Day

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Genesis 1.2

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

–Devotion–

As I mentioned, we have a story to tell.  This is the story of the Genesis, the beginning, of the Earth and the waters.  But, as I would ask any student of the Christian faith, how do we know this is THE STORY, the TRUE STORY, of the Genesis of the Earth and waters?

There are times in the Old Testament that we can reference that point out that this story of a Creating God from Genesis 1 is the True Story.  At one point this creating God revealed his might by drowning the world and making it over.  At another time He showed by mighty deeds in Egypt that He was God.  Then again He sent down fire and burned up the prophets of baal in front of Elijah.  But it is not until this same creating God, this God of the Flood, this God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, this God of mighty and terrible deeds in Egypt sends his Son named Jesus into the earth.  Up until then God had remained rather aloof, but now he was on the Earth again.  He was not in plague, or pillar of fire or smoke, or sending angels anymore.  He was present in his Son.  And his Son revealed in his authority over the earth and the waters that He was acting and speaking in the stead of this God.  But, the world responded in self defense.  They killed Jesus, but God raised him from the dead.  This is how we know this story is true.  This creating God raised Jesus from the dead.  

Pastor Beltz

Devotion of the Day

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Genesis 1.1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 

–Devotion–

This is it.  This is the beginning.  We Christians have a story to tell.  Not only a story about how Jesus of Nazareth redeemed the world, that is an important part of the story–but it is a part.  We have a big story.  A story of, “the beginning.”  That beginning is rooted in the Word, just like the heavens and the earth, the animals and us human creatures.  This is the beginning of our story, the story.  This is our story to know, our story to tell, our story that explains.  It is important because there are rival stories of the beginning.  There are other stories that explain.  So we must know our story.  The story.  And how we finally know it is the true story–because the God who created gave authority to his Son, Jesus, and raised him from the dead.  But, this story presents us Christians with other challenges.

In recent conversations, both with members and non-members of our congregation, I see again how it is a constant temptation to try and look beyond the boarders of this story to something beyond.  But all that is beyond is void and darkness.  “What was God doing before the beginning?”  That is void and darkness for us, because we came after the beginning and not before.  “What if Jesus did this and not that?”  Void and darkness.  Looking past the story, looking beyond, looking through, or underneath is not what we are to do.  That is the temptation, though, for us sinners.  A temptation we will become familiar with in a few  verses.  We are to hear this story, the story of the beginning, and say, “This is it, this is what we know, this is what we go by.”

Pastor Beltz