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A Christmas Story (1 of 5)

All over the world the story is being told. Around a campfire on the African Savannah, under the star filled skies of the Australian Outback, in the storefronts and meeting halls of Asian and American cities, gravely voices rise and fall with emotion, telling the oldest of stories, phrase by phrase, once again… as if for the first time…

In the Beginning

Long ago, before shepherds watched over their sheep by night, and even before there was a star in the sky, a great king asked for silence.

Then the king spoke and the universe exploded into existence. He said, “Let there be light,” and the darkness ran from him. By the power of his words he created high mountains and deep valleys. With endless imagination and attention to detail, the king filled the land, waters, and sky with living creatures of every shape, color, and size.

Then, as evil eyes watched from a distance, the king reached down, picked up a handful of the earth he had made, and breathed into it his own likeness. Then the great one motioned to a surrounding paradise and said to his likeness, “All of this I am entrusting to you. Care for the land, and it will care for you.”

For a while the new caretaker was too absorbed in his work to recognize the emptiness within. The king, however, knew that it was not good for the man to be alone. So he put his likeness to sleep, and from the package the king had used to protect the man’s heart, he made a helper and a friend.

One of the gifts the king gave the couple was something they never would have thought to ask for. He hid it in two trees that he planted in the very center of the garden.  One he called the “tree of life” and the other, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Pointing to one of them, the king said, “Eat from anything in the garden except this. If you eat from this one you will die.”

Sharing the king’s happiness, but not understanding the riddle of the forbidden fruit, the couple’s days were filled with surprise, laughter, and growing wonder. (Pause here for conversation… or click here for Part 2).

For Conversation: This is only the beginning of the unfolding drama that would eventually send heralding angels to the Shepherd’s Fields of Bethlehem. Long before wise men from the East made their way to worship the newly born king of the Jewish people, the first chapters of Genesis describe the wonder of the One who,

1. Makes something out of nothing.

2. Speaks light into darkness.

3. Brings order out of chaos.

4. Breathes his own likeness into a handful of dirt.

5. Fills loneliness with friendship?

6. Gives meaning to everything?

7. Gives life to those who haven’t earned it?

If you haven’t checked out a sister site, Wonderofcreation.org, I hope you’ll do so.

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26 Responses to “A Christmas Story (1 of 5)”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    I like your condensed version of creation and especialy your remark about the protective package around Adams heart.

    Because God created all that exists by what he SAID. I believe with all my heart we like HE have the “shadow” ability to create with our words as well.

    We can create blessings or cursing by what we say. Great love or destruction. We must remember to ask GOD to put a watch over our tongue.

    The 7 points mentioned could have volumes of books written on each subject.

    Thank you Mart this is dessert from from our last subject.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    “Why in the World am I here”? A small booklet RBC sent here I have mentioned before. A huge question. My son asks me that dozens of times a day. I have pat answers and I have serious answers for him. Occationaly I just hand him that little booklet and he reads.

    But why did God create all of this? Why was HE present in the Garden? For whom was all created? John says that in the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The triune Spirit of God. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

    Were we created for our benifit? Or for His? Or is it for both?

    I have used a statement for years to answer the question of what is the purpose of man?

    “For the glory of God and the uplifting of HIS SON and our SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.”

    For sometime now I have come to realise that weight can be substituted for glory. Such as the weight of responsibilty. When I think of glory in that context I see God’s position differently.

    Instead of seeing creation in the light of God saying wow look what I did, to saying, Look what I am responsible for.

    The question for the ages. Was God lonely? Or is this all a purpose driven drama for a higher purpose we cannot yet fathom?

    Through Christ God created all that exists. Man, his immage, sinned. Christ had to become a man and pay the price for sin, so man could return to God. From where he began. There is the drama. A drama God knew all about before anything was created. So it is for God’s purpose that all was created.

    God has created eveything so he could grow a crop of people to reside with him forever. The chaff he will burn up and remove from him and his people forever.

    Just some thoughts

  3. pegramsdell says:

    I’ve always known God to be romantic, and you have shown how romantic He is in a Christmas Story.
    However, I’m wondering why He put the other tree in the garden? A little danger perhaps, still romantic though.
    Paradise would be much better though, without knowledge of good and evil, wouldn’t it?

  4. poohpity says:

    Part 1 of 5, lol. I am so glad you decided to leave the fifth part (act) for future discussion, irony or education. lol. I have an abundance of spoons myself yet whenever I need one I can’t find one.

    Off topic—After going to bible study this morning I got to thinking about the early church contrasted with the church in America today. The early church were willing to die for what they believed and we will hardly give up any time to read God’s word. Just a thought.

    On topic–I stand in awe of someone having that much power that my finite mind can not even understand or comprehend that majesty or magnificence. Then to care for something that disobeyed at the moment of it’s beginning. Someone who PURSUED HIS CREATION FOR FELLOWSHIP. Talk about an describable LOVE. Words can not even express fully the wonder in all of that.

  5. Mart De Haan says:

    poohpity, no relationship to the 5th of our previous ruckus :-). Not smart enough to plan that kind of a set up :-).

  6. macsisson22 says:

    As I read todays blog and thought of the amazing power of God, the Lord put into my heart some simplistic thoughts regarding the seven acts:

    1. Make something out of nothing.

    We often do this through worry, fear, anxiety…. An oft quoted scriptural remedy = “And it came to pass …”

    2. Speak light into darkness.

    We have an obligation (commission) to do this with the word of God and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    3. Bring order out of chaos.

    Reach someone with the gospel or council someone through one of lifes calamities with the word of God and we can have had part in this act.

    4. Breathe his own likeness into a handful of dirt.

    When we take a fresh breath of scripture and actually chose to live the Christ like life?

    5. Fill loneliness with friendship?

    The vitamin for friendship – B1.

    6. Give meaning to everything?

    Love as He first loved us!

    7. Give life to those who haven’t earned it?

    Have you all considered donating your organs? My sister needs a kidney transplant.

  7. sitsathisfeet says:

    Lateley we’ve been listening to a version of Awesome God where there is kind of a rap… God spoke into the darkness and created the light, our God is an awesome God…It wasn’t for no reason he kicked ’em out of Eden,… our God is an awesome God… that’s my youngest favorite song, that starts at creation. Thank you Lord for being such a wonderful, awesome God and touching our lives in so many ways, and for turning our hearts of stone into flesh! In Jesus Name Amen!

  8. poohpity says:

    I did sign up for all my organs to be donated and then found out in 1997 I had the Hep C virus but I would in a flash. The Lord will provide and my prayers will be lifting her up for that provision. I have a myspace account and maybe we can send out requests if I can get the info to ask. I do not know how to get it through this blog. Deborah

  9. macsisson22 says:

    Thank you poohpity. Forgive me, I did not intend for my posting to be a special request, but I appreciate your concern and everyones prayers. FYI, I would have offered one of my own but I have had kidney stones and some other issues and was told because of these I would not be a candidate. My sisters name is Kim and she is on the list at Geisinger Medical Center in PA.

  10. Rev. Jeff says:

    One time during my devotional time, I was meditating on these verses (Gen 1) and the Holy Spirit was teaching me on the “Power of God’s spoken word” I came to know how while praying in thought how chaotic it could be to keep one train of thought going but while praying out loud there was no chaos. Also that God commanded everything into existence. God spoke, and it was. What do we “speak” into our own lives? Do we speak gloom, dispair, agony? Or do we speak God’s word and promises into our lives. One quote from a friend of mine – “Positive confession, brings posession” I ask again, what do we “speak” into our lives? Life or death?

    I am like the centurion who told Christ that as a leader he knew that a person of Christ’s position, when He spoke – it would be done. That Christ did not have to make the trip. My faith is like that – I know that when God says He’s going to do something, He’s gonna do it, and when He tells me to do something, I don’t need to know why or understand why, I just need to obey.(That’s not easy sometimes.) So when Adam and Eve where told not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Obedience to God’s word, honoring God’s command was what was required, not understanding the command. Ofcoarse we know what satan did, like he always does – satan gets us to question God’s Word – to cause us to doubt God. Childlike faith. . .

  11. KryptoNyte says:

    pegramsdell, I would agree. From where I stand, paradise would have been far better without the knowledge of good and evil. It is however worth considering, if you were standing in the garden as a perfect creation, without knowledge of good and evil, would you have the capacity to know you were in paradise? Could you truly know what the Light is without having experienced the darkness?

    I don’t have the capacity here on this Earth, in this body to understand why, but the Lord thought it wise to put those trees in the garden. In one movement, He was able to introduce free-will without ever betraying His own perfect nature. It is frequently through the sin (as a result of free-will) in my own life that I have come to know the perfect grace of my Creator. Appreciation and Love for my Creator is the result, because He paid the price for me, while I was still steeped in sin.

    Solomon said that life itself is futile, as there is nothing new under the sun. What’s truly extraordinary about God and His creation, is how He can always create perfection, but that He frequently does so through an imperfect world. Every second of the past, present, and future, He continually creates something brand new, and He always does it from scratch.

  12. pegramsdell says:

    Thank you KryptoNyte for your comments. I suppose it’s sort of like the palm trees on Daytona Beach at the hotel I like to go to. They have been there for at least 20 years and probably a lot longer, and they are stronger because the wind is always blowing. They have to have deep roots to withstand the normal wind, not to mention the hurricanes and tropical storms every year.
    I know that He would not tempt me beyond what I can handle and always makes a way out. And I have been forgiven much. And yes, His mercies are new every morning, thank You Jesus!

  13. SunTaxMan says:

    “Paraphrase” is a marvelous tool to help us “see it” again, clearer, with greater understanding – whether the subject is technical, Scriptural, etc.

    I have been very much encouraged by the New Living Translation and the power of paraphrasing to penetrate my being.

    RBC and staff has established credibility to create credible paraphrasing. This “The Christmas Story” again helps us to see beyond “ink on paper” to a real Person, a real Story, a real Historic Happening.


  14. wretch-like-me says:

    Marti, have you left out an important 8th & 9th points?

    8. The King takes great joy in blessing His creation.

    9. …provides redemption in return for repentance.

  15. drkennyg says:

    Isn’t it true that all that God made is all there is? Nothing has been removed or added since. My study of thermodynamics makes perfect sense of God’s wonder of Creation. We and circumstances have rearranged atoms and molecules and such but we have not made any new matter nor have we destroyed any. There is scripture support for this but it slips my mind for now – something about “all that has been made is made” – I think it is simply put in John 1:1-5. Not referring to thoughts or ideas but only to physical existence. So far.

  16. BobbiLee says:

    God created with the Word. Christ came as the Living Word to offer salvation. Christ will return with the Sword of the Word, with which He will justly judge the nations and unbelievers. Oh, and it will be this Word that will rearrange those atoms and molecules when He recreates the new heaven and earth.

  17. Mart De Haan says:

    wretch-like-me, yes, you’re right… and far more!

  18. DarleneJoy says:

    What a beautiful way to draw us into the celebration of the life of our wonderful Redeemer and Friend! I personally think it is important not simply to focus on the birth of Jesus alone at Christmas, but all the events leading up to it and after it to help us remember that it was not simply a great event, but another chapter in the greatest story ever written.

  19. TruthSeeker12 says:

    Wow, so many comments. I do plan to read the next one, but actually I read a comment that mentioned the same thing I had been wondering “However, I’m wondering why He put the other tree in the garden? A little danger perhaps, still romantic though”. I understand God did not create evil, but that with good and also free will, also evil is possible, but, I’ll try to think more about “If god can’t temp pple, then why have something like that in the garden?”

    There’s always so much to learn, isn’t there? even though we should accept that God know’s what He’s doing, we should also question things to help those who are not beleivers.

  20. TruthSeeker12 says:

    just so you know, it’s not God who tempts us, but the devil. sry, to be nitpicking at your comments, but I just wanted to let you know it’s not God who tempts us to do evil =]

  21. TruthSeeker12 says:

    Hmmm. I think I’m on to something here, but i just have a few things to iron out.

    Okay, here’s my view of it, now the tree was a tool, not temptation itself, the devil was temptation. We have choices in life “choose God, or choose us”.

    We AREN’T perfect and need tests to better ourselves and prove ourselves, but here’s the thing, why judge us if we don’t yet know what’s right from wrong? or did we have at least a small fraction of understanding right from wrong? This next part, is the fork in the road, either I’m wrong about what I’m about to say, or I just need to continue with this theory and figure out a few more things.

    So, here’s what I’m getting, maybe we DID need improvements to understand our own sin(but then why didn’t God just make us with the understanding of what a sin is in the 1st place?)so the devil mislead humans and caused them to sin, and we were punished for the rest of this earth lifetime. now those are the 2 parts i don’t get, unless I’m getting off on the wrong theory here.

  22. TruthSeeker12 says:

    Hmm, I think I might’ve recieved the answer, well it’s true we weren’t made perfect, and i think becuz true love requires us to over come other things, we all know what free will is. God, I believe, created the tree of knowledge as a tool. He knew the devil was envious of God and what his plans were, and despite of knowing what would happen, we still had to be put through this test.

    Now it says this in Genesis3 Verse 2-3″The woman said to the serpent, “we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat the fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” so it points out that she understood what God said not to do, and also it shows in this next verse that they have feelings, so i would believe they do have some knowledge of feelings, but not what’s good and evil”When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” so, it shows that they understand feelings, now if she loved God and were to prove it, she probably wouldn’t have had eaten of the tree, but still God did not tempt her, but made it as a simple tool, wich anybody could have taken it by their own will.

    Now earlier I was asked why God held a grudge against adam and even for so long(the fall of man to this day), I think it’s more of a reminder to pple today that our way does NOT work. But i don’t know if we’ll be rewarded at all for suffering through this with faith, or if it simply serves as a good reminder.

    Many of us would like to think “well I didn’t eat the fruit, why should I suffer?”, but the truth is, we eat the fruit pretty much everyday. We continue to go against God’s word probably every day to every other day, and continue to do so, so u can’t quite say that you’re not deserving of it. Jesus died for our sins to be forgiven, but perhaps some earthly punishment still takes place? yes, or no? After all, it’s only good that we are punished to stay in line.

  23. desert rose says:

    Mart, did you write this? It is beautiful. Is it available in print?

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