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R&V In the Word: Created with Love, from Scratch

Image: Bluebird Provisions

Read John 1 MSG

Everything was created through him;

    nothing—not one thing!—

    came into being without him.

What came into existence was Life,

    and the Life was Light to live by.

The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness;

    the darkness couldn’t put it out.

John 1:3-5 MSG

In the winter I love to make soup, but not just Mrs. Weiss’ bagged noodle soup or Campbell’s soup from a can. I’m talking about celery hearts and onions, garlic and parsley, bay leaves and chicken bones boiled in a pot for hours for the broth base, then whatever recipe that relies on lots of fresh vegetables and beans or meat. Soup from scratch

We all know what we mean when we say “from scratch”—from the beginning—but who are we kidding? We can’t make anything from scratch, really. 

Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!—came into being without him. 

And yet I delight in a good batch of soup. I celebrate soup as if it is the first time someone ever invented soup, as if this soup, unlike all soups that came before, is the best soup that has been and ever will be. I delight in my creation, because I made it and it is very good.

As people made in the image and likeness of God, we have the distinct pleasure—unlike any other creature—to delight in what we create, to stand over our pot of soup, our lovingly tended garden, our carefully scripted poem, our growing toddler, our off-balance clay bowl, our checked-off to-do list… whatever we have a hand in shaping, molding, or making.

This joy has its roots in gratitude, not arrogant pride. If God is the creator of all things, that all things came into being through him, then what we’re actually doing when we create something is participating in the extravagant love of Christ, who pours out gift upon gift upon gift for us every single living and breathing day. This is the Life that Lights our days, that “blazed out of the darkness.”

What Life, to hold every moment holy, to slurp up a good soup and say, “Mmm,” “Ahhh,” “This is so good.”

It is a good creation. It is a very good creation. And we get to be creators with God in it.

Points of Reflection

  1. Look around you. Everything was made by someone, and every particle was made by God. Pause for a moment and express your gratitude for the wondrous world, both the pieces God made and the pieces people have shaped.
  2. What darkness looms around you right now, in your heart, in your mind, or in the world? Ask God to show you how the Light is not extinguished, even in this present darkness.

For the Kids

  1. Go through the alphabet and name all of the things you can think of for each letter of the alphabet that you love. All of them—every single one—was made by God.
  2. What do you think it means that the darkness could not put out God’s “Life-Light”?

Action

If everything was made by God and it is all good, how do we enter into the same Spirit of God to care for this good creation? Spend some time today considering your habits and routines. Where is there needless waste? Where is someone or something being exploited? Pray for the Holy Spirit’s conviction to reveal an area of your life that is out of alignment with God’s good and perfect will. When we tend to those things according to God’s love, it is yet another place in our lives that can experience the abundant joy of Christ.

Readings

If you’re looking for more of this kind of seeing in the world, there are several writers that are especially attuned to highlighting all of the ways God has written his signature into all of creation. Here are a few of my favorites, several of which we’ve reviewed here before:

One Long River of Song by Brian Doyle (anything by Brian Doyle, really)

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