In this six-session small group resource, Jeremy Painter encourages us to look at the wonders of God’s creation through the eyes of a child. Once our sense of wonder is restored, we will be in a better position to ask: If creation is this awe-inducing, how much more the Creator? And It Was Good: The Wonder of Creation is comprised of six small group video sessions, a book, and a facilitator guide.
And It Was Good Book Excerpt
According to Genesis 1 and John 1, everything we see today, the moon, stars, sun, trees, mountains, oceans, clouds, animals, and human beings, were solely made by the word of God. In Genesis 1, each day of Creation begins with, “And God said, Let there be. . . ” As familiar as this might sound to us who have grown up in the Christian era, we should not take the centrality of God’s word in Creation for granted. Outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, creation stories typically tell of how the gods created the universe by accident, through procreation, or out of the gods’ body parts.
But more importantly, the fact that the world was made by the word of God indicates how central His word was and continues to be in Creation.
The notion that the world was made merely by the word of God is quite unusual and speaks to the creative power of the word of Israel’s God. Perhaps our ability to create fictional stories with our words is one of the many ways we get to exercise God’s image in us. But more importantly, the fact that the world was made by the word of God indicates how central His word was and continues to be in Creation.
The prophets and apostles of our faith continually emphasized the word of God. Not only is there the constant refrain of Genesis 1, “And God said,” but throughout Scripture, God’s people continually circle back to the word. For God’s people, truth is defined not by the ruling class of a powerful nation; kings and empires come and go. Truth is not defined even by one’s present circumstances. God’s word is the measure of truth. When Israel went astray, one of God’s prophets would jump-start Israel’s reclamation with, “Thus saith the Lord . . . .” God’s word raises kings and destroys tyrants; it is the sole defense of the righteous, and a terror to the wicked. Moses went so far as to say that mankind does not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God. (See Deuteronomy 8:3.) And, above all, the apostle John refers to Jesus of Nazareth, God’s supreme self-expression, as the Word made flesh. (See John 1:14.)If God’s word created the world, and if God’s word upholds the world, and if God’s eternal Word will outlast the world, how central should His Word be to our lives today? Click To Tweet
Gift of Wonder and Awe
If God’s word created the world, and if God’s word upholds the world, and if God’s eternal Word will outlast the world, how central should His Word be to our lives today? To live outside the principles of God’s Word is to live out of sync with the very foundation of the universe. To live in accordance with His Word is to live by a principle so creative and powerful that it burst forth into the light on the first day of Creation and continues to be the binding force that holds the universe together. Far from being restrictive and limiting, the Word of God actually liberates and creates just as it did in Creation. As God’s spoken, creative word reverberated, carving out the space that would be called the “universe,” the divine utterance blazed into a cosmos full of diversity and wonder. Galaxies formed. Oceans, in their mysterious marriage with the moon, swept over the earth. Giant whales leaped from wave to wave. Forests perfumed the land and became home to an array of creatures, many of which have yet to be discovered. The creative possibilities that are bound up in the word of God are endless.
Once our sense of wonder is restored, we will be in a better position to ask: If creation is this awe-inducing, how much more the Creator?
Resources and Links
And It Was Good Small Group Kit – Gather your friends and watch these sessions together.
And It Was Good – This book is to savor and one for your library.
And It Was Good for small groups is available on Discipleship Now, Apostolic media. Join free for fourteen days.