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JR. Forasteros - Jan 6, 2013
Some Assembly Required
From Series: "First Things First"
We ended 2012 in the Revelation, exploring how Jesus' coming into our lives is the End of the World as we know it. But if Jesus' coming is the End, it's also a new beginning. Jesus' death and resurrection reconnect us with God, open up a world that has been lost to us since Sin entered into the world. So to kick off 2013, we're going to dive into Genesis 1-2. We'll explore God's original intentions for the world, and the implications for our new life in Jesus. After all, in the new year, it's good to get the First Things First!
More From "First Things First"
We’re six days into the New Year, which means that of those of us who’ve made New Year’s Resolutions, probably over half of us have already broken them. The Resolution ritual is a curious one: usually for the last couple of weeks of the year, lots of us decide to change our lives in fairly substantial ways. We decide we’re going to start eating right, get in shape, read our Bibles more, go to Church more, be better people – nicer, complain less, call our parents more, and so on. Maybe this will be the year we pick that hobby back up or start writing that novel or start our new career.
But woven into the fabric of the resolution ritual is the expectation that it’s not really going to happen.
Collectively, we make resolutions expecting them to fail. Which makes or resolution ritual an exercise in staving off despair. At the bottom of the ritual is a fear we see more and more blatantly in our world, whether it’s in blockbuster films or Ke$ha’s latest single. The American Dream itself is having a midlife crisis: we’re afraid that life doesn’t have any deeper meaning. That deep down there’s nothing more to life than the day-to-day weariness of keeping up and getting by.
That’s why we make resolutions: they help us believe that life can be better this year than next year. And when we fail, when our resolve to do better, to be better, gives out and we settle back into the same old habits, we laugh. We turn it into a joke. Because laughing is better than weeping at the futility of our rituals and the meaninglessness we’re trying to ignore.
We prepared for Christmas by proclaiming that Jesus’ coming into this world was the End of the World as We Knew it. We proclaim that Jesus’ coming into this world is the beginning of God putting the world back right. That through Jesus, our lives do have meaning. So during the first part of this new year, we’re going to explore what God’s new life looks like. If Jesus’ coming was the End of something, then it was the Beginning, too. So what does Jesus’ New World Order look like?
Jesus told us that he came so we could have life. In John 10, he said of those who follow him,
“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” John 10:10 (NLT)
Jesus promises a “rich and satisfying” life. The Greek word means ‘excessive’ or ‘abundant’, which sounds awfully enticing to those of us trapped in the Resolution Ritual. We’d love a life that’s excessive, that’s overflowing with purpose and meaning.
What does that life look like? To help us figure that out, we’re going to explore the first two chapters of Genesis. As we saw at the end of Revelation, Jesus’ New World is a return to God’s original intention for us. Jesus’ new life isn’t reinventing the wheel. He’s reconnecting us with what God originally did, before our sin broke everything. So by exploring the creation stories in Genesis 1-2, the first things God did, we can learn who we are, who God is and what sort of life is available to us in the wake of Jesus’ coming.