God

Day 28 » Revelation

Today's post is written by Jon Rice. 

Today's post is written by Jon Rice. 

Today's Reading » Revelation 21-22

Almost exactly a year ago I finished writing my first screenplay. It was a dream I had wanted to see come true for years, and it finally happened. One of the things I learned while reading how to write a screenplay is that the final image of the film is often a mirror image of the opening frame, but slightly different.  Whether it's the characters or a place, the opening image and closing image are identical, except they reflect the change that the story made. By this standard, the ending of the Bible is a masterpiece.

I'm not going to pretend to understand most of the book of Revelation. It's vivid imagery can blow the mind and create more questions than it answers. The last two chapters however, tie in the rest of scripture in a beautiful closing image that reflects the opening image in the garden.

The story of the Bible starts with a garden of innocence, and ends with a city of virtue. It begins with God creating light and dark, and ends with God being the light for all things. We meet the mysterious character of God in Genesis, and see him fully in three parts- as Father, Son, and Spirit in the end. God invites people into relationship in the beginning, and people reject that relationship for sin, but in the end, God finds a way to restore that perfect relationship and even put an end to the pain and suffering caused by sin.

One of my favorite images that can be overlooked is the return of the tree of life. There were two trees in the garden, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and the tree of life. When people were forced to leave the garden, we were no longer allowed access to the tree of life because of sin. At the end of the book of Revelation, for the first time since the garden, God graciously gives us access to that tree from which eternal life is possible.

It spans 1,500 years, is written in three different languages, on different continents, and is written by everyone from kings to the destitute. Yet this wonderful masterpiece we call the Bible comes to a close tying up the loose ends, and bringing us back to what we lost in the beginning, only very different. 

Day 1 » In the Beginning

Today's post is written by Jon Rice, Bonnie Duncan and Haydee Dalafu. Jon also preached on these passages, you can find that  here. 

Today's post is written by Jon Rice, Bonnie Duncan and Haydee Dalafu. Jon also preached on these passages, you can find that here. 

Today's Reading » Genesis 1-2

Welcome to Day 1 of the challenge! If you are reading this, then you are off to a great start. Genesis 1-2. God in his infinite creativity created everything there is. This is where it all begins. The opening act to the story of God’s love for his people.

You may be tempted to skim through these chapters. Maybe it’s past midnight and you feel like you already failed at this challenge (though in typical Georgetown fashion I maintain that the next day doesn’t officially start until I wake up in the morning). But I challenge you to focus. To imagine the holiness and the mystery that is the beginning of God loving us into creation.

This is the beginning of the story, and if you don't get this, the rest won't make sense.

  • We don't understand the fall until we understand that God is a holy God.
  • We can't understand the incarnation (God becoming man) until we realize that God is inherently not human, He is spirit.
  • We can't understand how we partner with God to restore his creation until we know what it was supposed to be in the beginning. 

We are made in his image, created for relationship with Him and with each other, and we live in complete freedom when we live lives that reflect his character.

As a special treat to kick off this challenge, here is an excerpt from On Common Grounds written by chemist and Chi Alpha leader extraordinaire Haydee Dalafu about how we as Christians reconcile God and science. Feel free to leave your questions in the comment section. 

Many find it hard to reconcile the God of the Bible with the cold hard facts of science. Most of the debates are about the origin of the universe, evolution, and the creation account in Genesis. But there shouldn’t be a debate at all. With the risk of being too simplistic, I submit that science attempts to answer the when, where and how, while the Bible talks about the Who and why. The Big Bang Theory tells us that the universe began, created out of nothing, some 13.8 billion years ago. And of the infinite number of planets in the universe, life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago. Theories of evolution, while still containing gaps, attempt to answer how life came to be.

God gave us the intellect to be able to make these discoveries. In the past century, we have made tremendous strides into understanding the universe. But our arrogance blinds us of the fact that whatever we are just starting to uncover, God has known all along. Maybe this is why instead of revealing to Moses how He made the universe; He instead revealed that He is the creator, and that He created us because He loves us. And God has known that our curiosity and intellectual capability will eventually lead us to uncover so many mysteries of the universe. The more we understand about His universe, the more we will see His boundless creativity and undeniable glory. But in His infinite wisdom, He revealed himself in scripture to remind us of what is most important: faith, hope, and love. He gave us what we really need, that we may go and explore the world without losing sight of these three. So go ahead and open your science books. Read it through the lens of faith and you will be surprised how much it reveals about our Creator.

Prayer

God, thank you for giving me the ability to explore your magnificent creations, for allowing me to catch a glimpse of your beauty, power and love through the world that we live in. Help me open my mind to your revelations, and to never lose sight of what is truly important.