The With-Us God Advent | Creation: The Incarnation of Love
One of the most important questions we can ask in life is, “Why am I here?” The purpose question, once answered, makes sense of our lives and brings meaning to the everyday decisions we make.
There are really only two potential big explanations for reality, which lead to two ways of discovering our purpose. Either there is some great Mind responsible for it or there is not: in other words, reality is either personal or impersonal. From the Epicurean philosophers of old to the scientific materialists of today, there has been a strong conviction in favour of the latter. Because there is no Person involved in this view, there is also no ultimate purpose, only a succession of unscripted and random events. The physical world – including human beings – are merely the end result of a mindless, unguided process. However, there is an alternative: a Personal Being responsible for reality. In this case, we have a basis for meaning and purpose.
But how might we know our reason for being?
In the Genesis account, we are introduced to God as the one who imagined and fashioned all things. It is his blueprint, his design behind the great drama of creation. This God, we soon discover, is lacking in nothing – eternal, self-sufficient, joyful, not dependent on creation or requiring humanity’s praise or presence. By its existence, creation does not add a single bit more to God’s perfection or contentment.
This leads us to the key question: “If this is the case, why create at all?”
Either God created to demonstrate his dominance over creation, or as an expression of utter delight in it. In Genesis, he exuberantly declares what he creates to be “good” and “very good.” And Jesus declares in the Gospels that “God so loved the world.” As parents long to create life as a tangible expression of their shared love, God’s brimful loving delight overflows into the act of creating. Creation, whilst distinct from Creator, is nevertheless intended to consist in the Divine Family. Creation, then, is the incarnation of God’s love. A concrete expression and a reminder of it.
To sum up: God creates from love in order that we participate fully in it. This radically reshapes our understanding of reality and informs our purpose in it.
Questions to reflect on this week:
- How have I viewed reality – as personal or impersonal?
- Why did God create? What are the implications?
- What does it mean to receive God’s love?
Written by Mike Day | 2020