Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Advent 2023: November 6

Monday, November 6th: Presence

Read Genesis 1

“And God said…”  Catch that?  How did God make the heavens and the earth?  He did not take material already present and then build a house like we do.  God spoke and it was so.  The opening chapter of Genesis teaches us that God’s very Word does what it says.  We call this performative.  God’s Word speaks reality itself.  It helps us see that God is the maker and the ruler of all that there is.
God makes something out of nothing.  This is called Ex nihilo in Latin.  “Out of nothing.”

This also tends to be how God works still.  God chooses what is not to shame what is as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1-3.  From death to life.  From sin to forgiven.  Out of darkness shines the light.  From the barren womb of a woman, Sarah will conceive, and Elizabeth like her.
Out of a womb that has never known a man, the Word of God will be conceived.

And this makes Genesis 1, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” echo John 1, “In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was with God and the Word was God…All things were made through him.”
The Son of God, who we know now as Jesus Christ is the one who said, “Let there be light…”   “For by Jesus all things were created, in heaven and on earth, whether visible or invisible.” Colossians 1:16.

As Jesus walked on this earth, we see this same pattern of making something out of nothing with only the Word in the miracles of Jesus.  In Matthew 9, Jesus looks a man who is crippled and lame and says, “pick up your bed and go home.”  And he does.  How?  Because Jesus spoke.
And there is a little girl who is dead in Luke 5.  Jesus enters the room and speaks, “Little Girl, I say to you.  Arise.”  And suddenly the girl gets up as quickly as light appeared when God said, “let there be light!”

Who is this Jesus?  God in the flesh.  Where do we first see this?  “In the beginning…” or as Jesus himself says in Revelation 3:14, “The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.”  Perhaps we should not think of “beginning” so much as a moment of time, which it is, but also a title for the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the beginning and the end.  Jesus appears in the first verse of the Bible.  He is the first character named.