Bible Verse: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:1-31

The curtain rises and our story begins. The stage is completely empty and black. Our main character speaks a single word in a low quiet whisper and everything we know explodes into existence. The ancients who worship a pantheon of temperamental deities could easily be astounded by this opening account. This god creates with ease. There is no strain or struggle. There is beauty and order. There is no chaos. This god has ultimate authority, power and creativity. He is way more powerful than any god they have known. Stunning.

There is something more that strikes those who listen to this ancient tale, something that rocks their religious sensibilities. The opening poetic account of how the world began declares that none of the ancient objects of worship – the sun, moon, stars, rivers, mountains, or living creatures – are actually gods at all. They are just creative expressions of the one true God.

Once the stage is set, God creates his supporting cast. The audience watches as God gathers up dust, the most frail and worthless stuff available. He breathes his divine Spirit into it, and this dust turns into living, breathing beings. God’s Spirit has the power to make dead, worthless things come to life.

Unlike all the other living creatures, God’s supporting cast are humans, a man and a woman named Adam and Eve. They carry the actual imprint of God’s character and image.

God does not stop there. His new friends need a home, so he creates a garden for them to live in, a safe place for them to work and hang out with their Creator. He entrusts the whole place to them to nurture, guard, and protect. He makes both Adam and Eve responsible for it, so that they might have purpose for their lives.

It is the perfect setting for God and humanity to live in harmony, partnering together to make an already perfect world even better. It is a world without religion. There are no temples and priests. There are no rituals or rule books. Love is the only guide for their lives as they look to an ever-deepening experience of joy and intimacy with God and with each other.

In a world where love is the only guide, you do not need a long list of rules or a complicated religion. That is why there is only a single boundary for the man and woman to respect. God asks that they not eat from one tree in the garden: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Choosing to eat from it results in certain death. This tree represents self-centered independence. We might call it the “I will decide for myself what is right and wrong” tree. To refrain from eating of this tree would show that Adam and Eve trust God and believe he ultimately knows what is best. In his wisdom, God knew that for this friendship to work, it had to be based on free choice.

— Tim Day in God Enters Stage Left
Copyright © 2013 by Tim Day

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