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Imagine the beginning of the story, when all of creation was still just a word that hadn’t quite reached the tongue of God. All that has ever been was still just a divine thought awaiting permission to come into being… to become.

When the Uncreated began to create and spoke first light into existence, He did it ex nihilo. He created “from nothing”. As His Spirit hovered over the formless and void earth, over the face of the waters, His voice was all that was necessary to create. “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). The natural world emerged from the supernatural.

His will came forth with power to create life. His breath came forth to make us in His perfect image. God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being” (Genesis 2:7 NIV). He saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

But then sin entered creation. With humanity’s rebellion, the intimate connection was broken and we were separated from our Creator. Though our bodies didn’t die that day, our ability to know God and live in His presence was corrupted. Our hearts turned from love and communion to power and production. We became blind to the bigger story lived in community and began writing our own stories in isolation. Souls overwhelmed with God’s peace and presence were reduced to schedules overwhelmed with striving and struggle. Our spirits exchanged life and truth for death and lies.

Every fiber of our beings long to rediscover the goodness of the garden. We hope to walk with Him again in the cool of the day and fully reflect the goodness and splendor of our original design. We claim the promises that in Christ we have been, are being, and will be fully reborn, renewed, reconciled and altogether re-created into His perfect image to enjoy His perfect union (Colossians 3:10).



To read more about God's story of Re-Creation, purchase a copy of BECOMING: Story!


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I first sung in Handel's Messiah as a high school student, when a local college invited our community to join its production. Handel’s arias and choruses brought goosebumps, heard live  from within the choir. But the piece that brings the entire audience to its feet is, of course, the Hallelujah chorus. The text comes straight from Revelation 11:15:


“The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of
our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever!”


It’s an announcement that thrills the soul—this world as the kingdom of God! We’re so wearily accustomed to a planet under the reign of sin and death that we can hardly imagine a world under the peaceful reign of God. Yet this is the grand story of all Scripture: to see Christ ruling and reigning over this world, with its plants and animals, cultures and kingdoms—to see all that He created finally freed from corruption and experiencing full glory. And we, the people of God’s kingdom, will be the ones to inherit and enjoy this world, in sweet fellowship with our Savior.  

This grand vision is no unexpected surprise at the close of Scripture; it is the goal throughout. God’s kingdom, described as "God's people in God's place under God's rule" (Graeme Goldsworthy), is the storyline of His Word. It summarizes the biblical story better than even “Redemption,” because God’s kingdom depicts the opening and closing chapters of the Bible, before there was Fall and after Redemption is complete.  

God’s kingdom is also the focus of Jesus’ teaching, whether in the parables, the Lord’s Prayer, or His announcement of the gospel. He announced His mission on earth saying, “The kingdom of God has come near: Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15) The good news, or gospel, was good news of a kingdom. And He taught his disciples to pray, first and foremost, that God’s kingdom would come and His will be done here on earth, the way it is already being done in heaven.  

The tragedy of Scripture’s story is anti-kingdom: God's people bringing curse upon God’s place as they rebel against God's rule. The downfall began in Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve chose self-rule over God-rule. They rejected God’s command and aligned themselves with the serpent, and so committed treason against the Great King. Every sphere of life felt the reverberations of that act. Brokenness and corruption entered every realm—human, animal, and physical— when God’s rightful place at the center of it all was called into question.

Throughout Scripture, God’s people continued to bring curse upon God’s place—to the point of eviction. Isaiah wrote, "The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth..." (Isaiah 24:5-6). We see humanity evicted from the garden. Evicted from the temple. Evicted from the land of Canaan itself.

This is the only world we’ve ever known—a world of brokenness and curse, distanced from its Creator and Life-Giver. Can it be true that this world will really “become the kingdom of our Lord”?



To read more about God's story of Kingdom, purchase your copy of BECOMING: Story!


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Rest is an identifying feature of God’s people. “They will know we are Christians by our love,” we sing. How often do we consider that they will know we are Christians, too, by our rest?

Rest and peace are foundational to the Creation narrative of Genesis. This narrative is embossed in luminous relief against the backdrop of ancient Near Eastern creation myths. These myths, well-known among the early hearers of Genesis, bring creation into being through striving and violence. For instance, in the Enûma Eliš, a Babylonian creation myth, conflict prompts the god Marduk to dismember the goddess Tiamat and to use her body, split “like a shellfish in two parts,” to create the firmament and the waters.

The first sentences of Genesis 1, however, boast a very different God: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

On the eve of the greatest creative act in universal history, God hovers. The tone is serene, anticipatory, silent. And then, He speaks. He speaks it all into being: the first indigo dawn, the air, invisible and invaluable, soil, seeds, sycamores and junipers, the moon, the sparrow, the squid, the lion. Then finally, mankind, patterned gloriously after God’s very self

A rhythm has emerged over the six days of creation: God creates from repose, with only a word; God reflects, seeing all that He has made; and God celebrates, calling it good. Finally, this daily rhythm culminates in one full day of rest when God ceases from His work. He blesses the seventh day and makes it holy, set apart for a special purpose.

Like a child playing double-dutch, God waves a hand to invite people into this rhythm of work and rest.



To read more about God's rhythm of work and rest in the bible and in our lives, purchase your copy of BECOMING: Story!