Chaos or order?

Nov 25, 2007 by: Sam Hestorff Category: Biblical
Scripture: Genesis 1:1–2:3

Life can feel so chaotic at times . . . can't it?

My dad wrote a simple poem many years ago when he was trying to balance the chaos of his life. His job as a Physician was to help people who were diagnosed with Cancer and to walk with them through their frightful journey of life and death but he also had a job of caring for the 5 children who demanded of him his full attention the moment he walked through the door.

His poem was simple, yet profound

I feel like a radio with all channels on at once

That's called a daddy.

There are times that we feel as if we are radios with every channel on at the same time as we try to balance our family and demanding jobs, priorities and non-priorities and everything that life seems to throw at us. And at times, it feels so overwhelming . . . so chaotic that some have described their life as hell itself.

Because in addition to the chaos in their own lives they look at what is going on in the world; war and terror, AIDS, malaria, cancer, children living on the street with nothing to eat and families who do not have a roof over their heads, people losing their jobs and can't find employment and families that are falling apart.

And sometimes we think to ourselves . . . there is no hope because we can't see the hope through the Chaos.

And then in steps the church that invites people to their programs suggesting if you would just get involved in our ministry everything is going to be ok. If you would just add church to your check list of your life and squeeze it into the many priorities you are balancing than you will know that God loves you and has a plan for your life.

But what people are wondering is . . .

"If there is really a God that cares about me, why isn't he doing anything about the chaos I am living in?"

If God loves me so much . . . why is life so chaotic?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness, a chaotic mess.

God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

God spoke: "Light!" And light appeared.

God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.

God named the light Day, he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning- Day One.

God spoke: "Sky! In the middle of the waters; separate water from water!"
God made sky. He separated the water under sky from the water above sky.
And there it was: he named sky the Heavens;
It was evening, it was morning- Day Two.

God spoke: "Separate!
Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place; Land, appear!"
And there it was.
God named the land Earth. He named the pooled water Ocean.
God saw that it was good.

God spoke: "Earth, green up! Grow all varieties of seed-bearing plants,

Every sort of fruit-bearing tree."
And there it was.  Earth produced green seed-bearing plants, all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts. God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning-
Day Three.

God spoke: "Lights! Come out!
Shine in Heaven's sky! Separate Day from Night.
Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven's sky to give light to Earth."
And there it was.

God made two big lights, the larger to take charge of Day,
The smaller to be in charge of Night; and he made the stars.
God placed them in the heavenly sky to light up Earth

And oversee Day and Night, to separate light and dark.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning- Day Four.

God spoke: "Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!"
God created the huge whales, all the swarm of life in the waters,
And every kind and species of flying birds.
God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
Birds, reproduce on Earth!"

It was evening, it was morning- Day Five.

God spoke: "Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:

cattle and reptiles and wild animals-all kinds."
And there it was: wild animals of every kind,
Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug.
God saw that it was good.

God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature
So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."
God created human beings; he created them godlike, Reflecting God's nature.
He created them male and female.
God blessed them: "Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air,

for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth."

Then God said, "I've given you every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
And every kind of fruit-bearing tree, given them to you for food.

To all animals and all birds, everything that moves and breathes,
I give whatever grows out of the ground for food."
And there it was.

God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning- Day Six.

Heaven and Earth were finished, down to the last detail.

By the seventh day, God had finished his work.

On the seventh day, he rested from all his work.

God blessed the seventh day. He made it a Holy Day

Because on that day he rested from his work, all the creating God had done.

This is the story of how it all started, of Heaven and Earth when they were created.

Do you see what God does?

He takes chaos and gives it harmony. He took a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness, a chaotic mess and with each day and with each creation, he stepped further away from the chaos and disorder toward order and harmony and beauty. And it was good!

And on the last day he created man in his own image - and his job was to continue the ordering and caring for and the moving away from chaos toward harmony and beauty. It was the perfect relationship between the creator and his creation.

They would work together to build God's kingdom - a kingdom that could be described with words like peace, justice, mercy, kindness and harmony and beauty . . . and that God said it was very good . . . so very good.

But for it to be truly good, it couldn't be forced upon mankind. It had to be their choice and so there was a tree in the middle of the garden called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This tree gave man another option as to how to live - outside of how God designed things. And if man eats from this tree - they will see what the other way is like - separated from God - a world once again filled with chaos and disorder.

The choice was hard because the tree promised a better reality than God has made. It promised that by eating its fruit their eyes would be open and then man could be like God. And from man's perspective that was very good!

But it was a false hope; a promise that it could never deliver. It was a deception that was suggesting that good is possible apart from God, the source of all good. And by eating of this tree, Adam and Eve would be essentially claiming that the kingdom that God had created was not good enough for them.

And so they ate and indeed their eyes were opened - and they saw that they were naked - fully exposed - fully known. And they said "this isn't good" and so they quickly covered their bodies and hid from God.

The was the first of many barriers created by man which would separate the perfect relationship between man from God - the creator, the source of goodness. It was the first step backwards from the harmony and beauty of God's kingdom towards chaos and disorder.

Time passed . . . and man continued to create barriers, adding to the chaos and disorder.

Then God sent his son in the midst of a chaotic world to usher in a new kingdom; a kingdom that would be described with words like peace, justice, mercy, kindness, harmony and beauty. And it would be a kingdom that would last forever.

And he says to man, come join me and let us together build the Kingdom of God.

And you will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and you are to let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise the father in heaven.

And this is how you will pray

"Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

Do you see what he is doing?

He is once again taking our chaos and giving it order. He is taking our soup of nothingness, our bottomless emptiness, our inky blackness, our chaotic mess and moving it toward harmony and beauty. He is offering us hope in the midst of chaos.

And his call to us as a church is to walk along side him and build the kingdom of God in order to give people in this chaotic world a glimpse of what it is like to live forever in harmony and peace.

This is what it means to be a church that Builds the Kingdom of God.  This is what it means to be a part of Logos Dei.

When people see what we are doing, will they describe us with words like harmony and beauty, justice and mercy?  Or will they say that we are simply adding to the chaos?

The choice is ours.

Let us pray

"Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Blessed be your name, Praise be to your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." AMEN

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