Let’s Draw Creation
An Object Lesson on Restoring Broken Relationships
Adapted from a sermon at First United Methodist Church of Orlando.
Throughout the summer we’ll be looking at the entire Bible, condensed into 12-major themes. Tonight’s theme is Creation. But here’s the really fun part, the story of creation is really the theme of the entire Bible, so tonight we’re going to summarize all 66 books of the Bible.
Sound daunting? Don’t worry, it’s going to be a lot of fun. In fact, while I’m talking I encourage you to draw and color. As we read through the scripture tonight, I’ll give you instructions on what to draw.
Are you ready to summarize the entire Bible? Let’s go!
Our scripture tonight comes from the book of Genesis. Right at the very beginning of the Bible.
Genesis 1:1–3 says this:
When God began to create the heavens and the earth — 2 the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters — 3 God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared.
So at the top of your picture, draw your representation of God.
God was there before the world and so we need God to be at the top of our picture.
The story goes on and God creates everything. We’ll pick the story up at the end of the chapter.
Genesis 1:27–31 (CEB):
God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds in the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground — to everything that breathes — I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.
There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.
So God created humanity in God’s own image.
In the middle of your picture, draw humanity represented by Adam and Eve.
We were created in God’s image and he declared us good. Not just good, supremely good!
Did you know there’s a second creation story in the Bible? The second version picks up right where the first one ends. Right here at the beginning of the Bible we’re presented with two conflicting stories of creation. Which one is accurate?
Actually, it’s a trick question. In our world we want facts and proof and we want everything to be easy to understand. But here’s the thing: Moses, who is believed to have written the book of Genesis, wasn’t there when the world was created. The only person present was God.
So how did it go down? Which version of the story is true? That isn’t the point. Instead of factual truth, because how are we going to know what really happened, here the Bible is conveying a Biblical Truth. What’s that truth? God created the world and everything in it.
That said, let’s look at how Genesis 2 details this Biblical truth.
Genesis 2:15–23 (CEB):
15 The Lord God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and to take care of it. 16 The Lord God commanded the human, “Eat your fill from all of the garden’s trees; 17 but don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because on the day you eat from it, you will die!” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It’s not good that the human is alone. I will make him a helper that is perfect for him.” 19 So the Lord God formed from the fertile land all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky and brought them to the human to see what he would name them. The human gave each living being its name. 20 The human named all the livestock, all the birds in the sky, and all the wild animals. But a helper perfect for him was nowhere to be found.
21 So the Lord God put the human into a deep and heavy sleep, and took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh over it. 22 With the rib taken from the human, the Lord God fashioned a woman and brought her to the human being. 23 The human said,
“This one finally is bone from my bones
and flesh from my flesh.
She will be called a woman
because from a man she was taken.”
Do you notice the difference here? In version two of the story, humanity was formed first. This caused humanity to be lonely. Because humanity was lonely, God created all of the animals. So that’s the next thing I want you to draw.
Fill in animals and plants and trees and birds all around your Adam and Eve.
The man was lonely, so God created animals. But still, man was lonely. So in version two of the story, God created woman.
Now, this isn’t a commentary on gender politics or sexuality, it’s a commentary on community. Humanity was lonely and animals were not sufficient, so God created another human to be present.
This brings us to the second Biblical truth: humanity needs to be in community. The man was lonely being the only human in the garden with God. Animals weren’t enough. So God provided another human. We are made to be in community with one another.
We are not created to be isolated from each other. We are created, in God’s own image, to be connected to other humans.
So go ahead and add some more humans to the grouping of animals around your picture.
Ok. Let’s recap: Yes, there are two creation stories in the Bible. The Biblical Truth conveyed through the stories are God created humanity, declared it supremely good, and humanity needs to be in community.
When God created humanity, humanity walked with God in the Garden. It was peaceful. We were physically with God.
Now, God warned humanity about eating form the Tree of Knowledge saying it would provide death. What happened? Humanity ate from the tree and death entered into humanity.
If you take the graveyard tour at Greenwood Cemetery, the tour guide starts by saying all his stories end in death. And that’s true of all of us. Our story will someday end in death. Adam and Eve ate from the Tree, and death entered into the picture.
Beyond death, Humanity was no longer welcome to walk in the Garden with God.
One of my sayings is that every choice has a consequence. Here, humanity made a choice to eat the fruit and ended up expelled from the garden. This resulted in a broken relationship with God.
Now rip your picture, separating God from the rest of it.
Because humanity ate from the Tree, sin was born. Sin means separation from God. Humanity became physically separated from God when they chose to eat the fruit and were expelled from the Garden.
But sin didn’t just separate us from God. Sin also separated us from creation.
Rip Adam and Eve out of the rest of creation.
Sin also separates us from each other.
Rip Adam from Eve.
Now, I said we were going to cover the entire Bible tonight and we’ve only hit the first three chapters of Genesis. But here’s where things move very quickly.
Humanity broke our relationship with God. The entire Bible — in fact the entire story of human existence — is God’s attempt to restore a relationship with humanity.
God attempts to restore that relationship through many different ways. There are judges and kings and prophets and messengers. Through all the ways God tries, humanity continues to mess things up. The separation remains.
So God tries something new. God sends a version of himself to walk with humanity again. Jesus, the son of God and God incarnate, arrives to walk with humanity, just as God walked with humanity in the Garden.
Jesus comes to earth as a way to restore the broken relationship with God. Through Jesus, we are each able to reconnect with God.
Take some tape out and reconnect God to humanity.
Though a restored relationship with God, we are able to restore our relationship with creation…
Tape God back to the rest of creation.
…and we are able to restore our relationship with each other.
Tape Adam and Eve back together.
Notice the picture is not perfect. It’s not restored to the exact way it was originally. Sin — separation — still exists, but through Jesus that relationship is mended.
Humanity still makes choices that have consequences. We might cause our separation to grow between humanity and God. Or we might make choices that further separate us from each other. But Jesus is always there to restore our broken relationships and help us reconnect with God.
That’s the story of the entire Bible and that’s the Biblical Truth conveyed through Jesus: God wants to be in relationship with humanity.