The Very Beginning of Christmas
Our Role In Creation
God blessed them and said to them, 'Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.'
Then God said, 'I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.' And it was so.
The run-up to Christmas is often magical for children and immensely stressful for the adult magicians tasked with laying on the festive sparkles. On top of the barely manageable tasks of daily life are piled the extras – fancier, more plentiful food, gift buying and wrapping, cards, drinks parties at the office and with the neighbours, tiny light bulbs to replace, extended family sensitivities to navigate.
And beneath it all, we can sometimes feel a nagging guilt that none of it really matters. That it isn't 'spiritual' in the way that, say, doing this devotional journey is.
Genesis 1 can ease that burden. It tells us that this world is a good world that gives pleasure and brings glory to its maker. It tells us that humans have a particular role, serving God by 'subduing' and 'ruling' on his behalf, 'taking care' of his creation (Genesis 2:15). God's rule brings order from chaos, releases potential, creates beauty, makes provision for needs, and instils joy.
Our task is to engage in running our bit of the world in those same ways, as the divine image-bearers we are. This Advent, let's see each item on that huge task list as an opportunity to embrace our God-given purpose in this world. How might that impact the way we reply to emails, drive in rush hour, peel the veggies, pay the invoice?
Thank you, God, for giving us the dignity and trust to play such a significant part in your world. Thank you that you loved it enough to become part of it, born a human baby. Help me approach my tasks this Advent with the same purpose as you approach yours. Help me to see how I'm bringing order out of chaos, releasing potential, creating beauty, making provision for needs, and instilling joy.