2019.02.03 | Genesis | Pt. 1, What's Our Story?

Genesis | Pt. I, What’s Our Story?

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.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.

11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

27          So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 1:1-2:3

What’s our story as humanity? What’s the story of existence? Why are we here?

The book of Genesis is the first book in the Bible. And it is the story of Beginnings. To understand “What’s our story” as a human race, we have to understand our beginning. Now before we continue, I want to make clear, sermon series “What’s our story” is not a study of the book of Genesis. Our focus is not understanding every part of the book of Genesis, our focus for this series is simply learning more about what it means to be human in light of Genesis. What’s our story?

As many of you guys know, I am a huge football fan. And the Superbowl is going on right now. And I have no idea what’s going on. So let’s say after service, we all go watch the game and then the score is Patriots 23 and Rams 10? So the Rams are down 13 points! And I am so worried so I text a friend who has been watching the whole thing and I ask, “Ok, what did I miss? Tell me everything from the beginning!”

And my friend says, “In the beginning, the first football match ever played was on November 6th, 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers. The game was very different, resembling soccer to some degree until the 1870s when a new series of rules, adopted from rugby allowed players to carry the ball…” I would be like, “Shut up! What happened with this game? Why are the Rams down? Did Jared Goff throw a pick? Did Todd Gurley get hurt? I need to know the story of this game, not the story of football!”

And the Bible is the same way. Genesis 1 doesn’t tell us the beginning of all things. For instance, Genesis 1 doesn’t tell us what God was doing before Creation. Genesis 1 doesn’t tell us about the Trinity before Creation. Genesis 1 doesn’t start with the beginning of all stories, it starts with the beginning of our story. Genesis 1 is about the beginning of Creation, not the beginning of Creator.

It’s like my Superbowl example. We are thrust into this broken world, this sometimes seemingly senseless and hurtful world. And we are asking, “What happened to this world? How did we get here? Tell me the story from the beginning.” And Genesis tells us how we got here. Genesis tells us our story.

So what does this teach us? What are we supposed to learn?

1. For the Mind: God is a God of Order

Growing up, I never had cable for TV. So I didn’t have Cartoon Network and all the other cool channels that all my friends did. So on the rare days I didn’t go to school because I was very sick and throwing up, I had nothing to watch on TV. They used to show cartoons in the morning and in the afternoon, but in the middle of the day there was this boring block shows I didn’t care about. Shows like Maury, Jerry Springer, Days of our Lives (which has been going on since 1965!), and Judge Judy. I feel like if I watched these shows now, I think it would be fun and funny. But back then, man it was so lame. I wanted cartoons.

And so when I think of God as a God of order, I think of someone like Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown yelling, “Order, Order in the court.” Or I think of a helpless teacher trying to get their crazy classroom back into order. Or like a VBS Volunteer running around trying to keep hyper kids in order.

I tend to think of creating order like imposing your will onto someone, forcing them to conform. I don’t think of it as necessarily a positive connotation. I don’t think it’s bad either, maybe just necessary. I don’t know if that’s what you think, but that’s what I think.  

But when we look at Genesis 1, when we see that God is a God of order, I want you to see that it is something deeper than just keeping everyone under control. There is a deeper meaning and a deeper blessing to God’s order. So what is it? And why is it one of the first things that the Bible shows us about 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.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And it continues through all 7 days of Creation. To summarize all the information we read in the beginning, here is what God made on each day. And this is my super summarized version, there is a lot more that you can say, but I am just summarizing it.

Day 1: Light/Day, Separated from Darkness (verses 3-4)

Day 2: Sky, Separated from the Waters Below (verses 6-8)

Day 3: Land and Vegetation, Separated from Ocean and Sea (Verses 9-13)

Day 4: Sun, Moon, and Stars (Verses 14-19)

Day 5: Sea creatures and Flying creatures (Verse 20-23)

Day 6: Ground creatures and Mankind (Verses 24-31)

Day 7: Sabbath, Separated from Work, Separated for God (2:1-3)

Now look at this list. How can this be possible? “How can there be light when the Sun wasn’t created until day 4?” Which also leads to a more fundamental question, “How was there a first day when a day is measured by the Sun? A day is about how long it takes the Earth to rotate on its axis in respect to the Sun. So how can there be a day when there is no Sun?”

And these seem like really important questions, but they actually show that we don’t really understand what this passage is about.

I never finished reading Harry Potter. I read book 1 last year, due to Pastor David’s request, and it was honestly really fun. But I never went back to reading the next ones. So I don’t know much about Harry Potter. But I am assuming it is a very well written realistic fantasy book. So I am assuming that in the end, Harry Potter is facing off against Voldemort. And I dunno, since I never read it, I assume they have a magic battle. And maybe Harry gets hit by a magic spell and is on the ground, hurt. Voldemort walks close to Harry to hear Harry’s final words. When all of a sudden Harry starts laughing. And Voldemort is like, “Why are you laughing?” And all of a sudden, almost 1,500 yards away in Hogwarts, Ron Weasley is waiting with a Barrett M82 semi automatic anti-material sniper rifle. And Harry whispers into his ear piece, “Ron, take the shot.” Ron breathes out, “Yippee Ki Yay” and pulls the trigger. Voldemort’s head instantly explodes. Harry sighs in relief as Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets screech across the sky above him, shooting down evil wizards as they try to escape on Quidditch brooms.

Now we would never expect that! Because the Genre of Harry Potter is Fantasy. It’s not a Military Novel. It’s not Tom Clancy’s Harry Potter. Harry Potter’s Genre is about magic and wizards and quidditch.

Similarly, you don’t read a Thriller and bash it for not having enough jokes, or read a Cooking Recipe and complain that it doesn’t have enough Suspense, or read heavy Prose and complain that the lines don’t rhyme! You have to understand the Genre to understand what you are reading.

Unfortunately, modern readers tend to ignore this when it comes to the Bible. They read Genesis 1 as if it was written to satisfy Modern Western ideas and questions about physical creation. If we really want to understand Genesis 1, don’t focus on what you want Genesis 1 to be about and take time to focus on what Genesis 1 actually says. Take time to learn what the Genre of Creation accounts was like in the ancient world.

Because today, the number 1 question that people always want to ask about Genesis 1 is, is this 7 literal days? Was all of Creation done in 7 literal days? Or can it be interpreted as a number of years? Or could it be several millennia? And they argue back and forth. And all I can say is that sometimes we get so caught up in figuring out How He created that we miss the ultimate point, which is Who created, What He created, and Why He created.

Focus on the Creator to understand Creation. Because when you only focus on Creation, you only focus on the process of Creation. When was something made? How does this fit into what we know scientifically? When we focus on Creation, we only focus on the process of Creation. But when we focus on the Creator, we focus on the purpose of Creation. Look back now on what is created and on what day.

Day 1: Light/Day, Separated from Darkness (verses 3-4)

Day 2: Sky, Separated from the Waters Below (verses 6-8)

Day 3: Land and Vegetation, Separated from Ocean and Sea (Verses 9-13)

Day 4: Sun, Moon, and Stars (Verses 14-19)

Day 5: Sea creatures and Flying creatures (Verse 20-23)

Day 6: Ground creatures and Mankind (Verses 24-31)

Day 7: Sabbath, Separated from Work, Separated for God (2:1-3)

Do you notice something interesting about Creation here? When you let go of your desire to make Genesis 1 say what you want it to say, when you start looking at what it actually says, you start to notice the subtle and beautiful details. Day 1-3 are parallel to Day 4-6. In a sense, Day 1-3 creates the domain for Day 4-6 fill it. God first creates domains and then God creates things to appropriately and wonderfully fill those domains.

And when you look at this passage as a whole, you start to see multiples of 7 everywhere. In the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:1 has 7 words, the second verse has 14 words, and the entire section of the 7th day of 2:1-3 has 35 words. The word “God” is used 35 times, “earth” 21 times, “heaven/firmament” 21 times, the phrase “it was so” and “God saw that it was good” 7 times.

And this is what I mean when I say God is a God of order. There is a Divine order in all of Creation. There is a purpose, a wisdom, an order to all of Creation. Yes, Genesis 1 might not be telling us what we want to know about the beginning of our story, namely the scientific process of Creation, but if you start listening to what it is saying, you would realize that it is actually saying a lot. And one of the first things we see in Creation is that the universe was created intentionally, lovingly, wonderfully, exactly, carefully, with pride and purpose. God’s Orderliness pulses through Creation, making it alive with intention and purpose.

And in the beginning, in the moment of Creation, everything was good, everything was fulfilling its proper purpose. But that’s not the world we see today, is it? Sin changed everything. Sin broke everything. Sin broke the perfect order in all of Creation. And we are going to be talking more about sin in 2 weeks, when we cover The Fall.

Because of sin, now life is chaotic. Accidents, abuse, and adversaries bring tumultuous times into our hearts and our souls. We honestly don’t know if we will live or die tomorrow. We don’t know how much time we have together. Life is painful. Life is chaotic. Life is crazy. Life can be scary. Life can be unfair. Life can even be unwanted. And God knows this, God recognizes how deeply sin broke the perfect order and purpose that used to be in Creation.

After Adam and Eve sin, human life has been full of chaos. The first family experiences the first murder when Cain kills Abel. Societies begin to band together to rival God, trying to make a name for themselves that reaches for the heavens. Nations enslave other nations. The Israelites are surrounded by people who want to kill them. And there was no modern medicines back then, no modern weapons to defend themselves, no United nations to turn to. Life was scary, chaotic, dangerous, and lawless.

So when God saves the Israelites, He brings them Laws. And we normally think of these Laws as just boring and legalistic burdens. But think about what the Laws are doing, not just theologically, but practically. These Laws are reestablishing order out of chaos. God is bringing godly order to our chaotic hearts. From now on, in this chaotic world, even if you hate your neighbor, God brings order and direction to our hearts and says, “You must love and forgive them.” In this crazy world, even if you want what your neighbor has, God brings order and direction to our hearts by forbidding covetousness and choosing to bless our neighbor and to celebrate the good that they have.

Ultimately, our lives were not meant to be just lived in this chaotic world just collecting more and more stuff until we one day die. No. The proper order of your life, the proper purpose of your life, is not in this chaotic and crazy world. It is found in God alone. Only God brings order to our hearts in this chaotic and crazy world.

God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.

C.S. Lewis

2. For the Heart: God is a God of Good

When I was young, I loved Legos. And I would Legos all the time. Legos are expensive. So I never got a big set. But I would buy small tiny sets over the years and save the pieces for like a decade until I had a small drawer full of Legos. And my Legos would always be some sort of rescue mission or cowboys. So I would build little Lego buildings and the cowboys would come and fight and I would break all the buildings. It was fun to build everything. But it was also fun to destroy it.

Same thing when I would play Sim City! I would build these giant cities and all of a sudden, Godzilla attack! And oh no the whole city is on fire. And the bigger and better my Lego buildings became, the more fun it was to have cowboys fight in it to break it apart. I was building things for my own amusement and sometimes I was building things just to break it apart again.

But God isn’t like that. God builds to bless. What motivates God to build things is not to just say He built it or to later destroy it. It’s to bless it. 

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.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

God didn’t create the world to just abandon it. He created it to bless it. We are going to focus on this more next week, when we see God creating humanity in His image. But already, you can see from our passage, God made the universe good.

People have such a wrong and twisted view of Christianity these days. They think Christianity is all about being a nun or a monk. They think sinners enjoy the physical world while Christians hate the physical world.

But who made the world good? Satan? No! God did! God alone made the physical world good, perfect, and pleasing.

You know that one kid in your school when you do group projects. And he does like none of the work. But he puts his name first on the group report and tries to present it in front of the class even though he did nothing? Satan did absolutely nothing to make the world good. God created the world good. Satan did nothing! But satan keeps acting as if he is the king of worldly good and pleasure, as if he can offer when it when didn’t even make it!

Christians, where did you get the idea that Physical means bad? That Physical is anti-Spiritual? Didn’t God make the Physical world? Didn’t God made the Physical world good? Didn’t God invent the human body that can enjoy physical pleasures? And all throughout the Bible, isn’t God telling us how to live in this physical world? And in Revelation, isn’t God one day going to remake the physical world and make it perfect again? Where did we get the idea that the physical is the enemy?

The physical is not antispiritual. We create this false separation between Spiritual, Physical, Emotional. But that’s wrong. So often we wrongly separate Physical and Emotional from Spiritual, as if they are apart from Spiritual. But God made them and God made them good.

As you guys know, the Superbowl is now. And I love football. And if the Rams win today, I am going to be SO happy. How can I be so happy for the Rams. But when I go to God, I am so silent or dead or emotionless. Did God give us emotions to use on everything except God? No! God should get all my emotion. My heart should be deeply alive for God! Not just football, God!

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Eat for the glory of God! Now this verse in 1 Corinthians is talking about meat offered to Idols, but the general concept remains. Do all things for the glory of God.

Even eating food, even good food can be eaten for the glorify of God. When God made the universe, He made it good. So when we enjoy the universe and experience it is good, we are testifying that God is good. We see God’s goodness hidden in Creation’s goodness.

You see this opens up the heart to worship. Worship not just about about singing songs. Worship is about recognizing that God is good in every facet of life (Spiritual, Physical, and Emotional). And you start to see that there is no longer this artificial divide between spiritual and physical. The Physical is Spiritual because it was made by the Spirit of God. Pleasure through food, pleasure through marital sex, pleasure through traveling, pleasure through friendship, pleasure through working out, all of these things can be done for the glory of God. Because God made it and God made it good.

And yes, just like we said in the first point, it doesn’t always feel good. It doesn’t always feel meaningful and spiritual. Because of sin. Yes, there is a lot of bad in this world. Terrible things in this world.

But there is a big difference between the world seeming bad and meaningless and the world actually being bad and meaningless.

In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.

Richard Dawkins

This is someone who actually believes the world is indifferent with no meaning.

And as Christians, we feel that way. And that’s ok, it makes sense.

And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

Ecclesiastes 1:13-14

We all feel like life is bad and meaningless at times. We do. But once again, there is a huge difference between the world seeming bad and meaningless and the world actually being bad and meaningless. And as Christians, we get to hold on to both in the bottom of our hearts. We get to truly confess from the depths of our hearts, “God! The world seems bad! It seems pointless and meaningless and empty!” And we can feel it. But we can feel it without falling into ultimate despair, because we hold on to the truth, “God though it seems bad and meaningless, it is not actually bad and meaningless. Because you are going to reward me in the end. You are going to glorify Yourself through this. You are going to make something out of this.”

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Yes God made the world good. And yes the world is now broken. It’s not just good. There is a ton of bad. A ton of wickedness. A ton of pain. A ton of sin. Christian, don’t be naïve. Our hope is not in a perfect present age, but in a redeemed present age. To find God’s goodness in Creation in this broken and sinful world, don’t look for perfection, look for redemption. Too often we ask, “God, if You are good, then why is the world so bad?” Without deeply recognizing that God did make the world good and that sin made the world bad. What did you expect a broken and wicked sinful world to look like? This is exactly what a broken and sinful world should look like. But in the midst of it, the beautiful thing is, that in the midst of such a broken and wicked sinful world, we see glimpses of heavenly beauty and love, glimpses of God. The real question you should ask is, “God, why are you still so good to a world that is so bad?” We spend so much time complaining that roses have thorns. But by God’s grace, thorns have roses. And all our griefs will receive a glory. All our hurts will receive a healing. All our pains will turn to praise. And all our weakness will glorify His strength.

And so we disagree with the Atheists. The pain and suffering is not meaningless. And though the world seems meaningless at times, it is not actually meaningless. Therefore, as Christians, we will dare to open up our hearts to God’s goodness. As Christians, we will dare to worship God for the good even when we live in this bad and broken world. As Christians we will dare to enjoy, dare to worship, dare to live. And we will thank God for the good story of redemption in this imperfect world.

3. For the World: God is a God of Diversity

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

One of the beautiful and underappreciated truths in Creation is how much God loves diversity.

One thing is not another thing. Light is not Dark. Land is not Sea. Heaven is not Earth. Etc. But even amongst one things, there is diversification. There is not just one tree. There are many trees. And the many trees are not copies of each other. They are all unique. And each of these unique trees are not just one type of tree. There is a multitude of different types of trees. Diversity in diversity in diversity in diversity. Did you know the US alone has 151 types of flowers? But in the world, there are over 400,000. And I can identify 4 types of flowers: Rose, Sunflower, Daisy, Tulip. I thought I could identify Dandelions because I thought that they were that white puffy thingy, but turns out some of them have like pedals and stuff.

Now think about that. There is no copy and paste, each one is unique.

Think about all the flowers on a hill that no one has seen, all of them blooming together, each one unique, each one made by God! And think about in the depths of the ocean, we are still discovering terrifying and hideous new creatures each year. And that’s also why I believe, contrary to many people’s artistic illustrations of Heaven, that angels will probably all look very different. I am sure some will be taller, some short, some fatter, and skinnier, whatever. Because God doesn’t make common things. God makes everything unique. And that teaches us how we should view Creation and view each other. No one is common in God’s Kingdom. And isn’t that so beautiful? God’s kingdom is full of diversity.

My parents are both from Korea. But personally, I don’t really know much about Korea. I heard I went there once when I was a baby, but I don’t remember it. Other than that, I only went to Korea as a young adult, and usually it was after a mission trip to Japan. So I have spent much more time in Japan than in Korea. So I don’t know Korea that well.

The first time I went to Korea as an adult, I remember walking into a movie theater. I watched a Harry Potter movie with my younger cousin. And I remember I was shocked. Everyone in the theater was eating dried squid in the movie theater! That was their movie snack! And I was the only person in the theater with nachos! And they looked at me as if I was weird!

When I was in Athens and working with refugees from the Middle East, the men would kiss you on the check to greet you. And I never ever got used to that. And it’s part of their culture. It’s normal for men to just hold hands and walk down the streets. When I was in the jungles of India, we would eat with our hands. When I was in Japan, the food is so good, even the convenience store has amazing food. And I would often stop by into a 7-11 and buy snacks and walk around and eat. But guess what? There is no trash can anywhere! Because you are not supposed to walk around and eat so there is no real reason to accumulate trash on you. So I remember carrying my candy wrappers in my backpack all day until I got home.

When you see the world, you can see how different people are. But you don’t have to travel. You can see how different people are even here in WJBC. Look at your friends. I am sure many of them are so different from you! Don’t you sometimes wonder how such different people became friends? And aren’t they so lucky that you chose to adopt them as your friend?

God loves diversity. In Creation, God doesn’t make just one good thing. Because God loves diversity. Creation is an explosion of colors, creativity, and change. God has a huge heart for diversity.

Before I became a Christian, I had this huge misconception of Christians. I thought they were all the same, robots following God. All a bunch of same boring people. But when I became a Christian and started following God, I realized that Christians are all different. One of my favorite examples is when I think about influential pastors.

Like have you heard Pastor John Piper? He is like one of my favorite pastors ever. But he is also one of the most unintentionally funny guys ever. There used to be a fake Twitter account called Fake John Piper that was run by a popular and funny pastor. And he would write random joke tweets as if he was John Piper and I loved it so much because you could totally tell this person knew John Piper so well. And you could almost hear it in his voice. (“Don’t Care” “Scream”).

And passionate and emotional Pastor John Piper is so different from strong and straight forward Pastor John MacArthur. Piper grew up writing poems and MacArthur grew up playing football. And the late Dr. RC Sproul would teach theology while playing golf in his free time with Rock and Roll legend Alice Cooper. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile writes a BBQ review blog.

And they are sooooooo different. Throw in Matt Chandler who has energy and doctrine like Calvinism on Red Bull, David Platt who has done so many grad school programs he has more degrees than a thermometer, Francis Chan the passionate bald man for Christ who is always trying to give away his possessions. There are all so different.

But at the same time, they are so unified. They are so different, but at the core, they are so similar. They all have the same heart, a heart for Christ.

Have you met real women and men of God? They are all so different. But they are so similar at the same time right? Like they are all so different externally, but they are all so similar in some strange, unexplainable, supernatural way.

Already the new [people] are dotted here and there all over the earth. Some, as I have admitted, are still hardly recognizable: but others can be recognized. Every now and then one meets them. Their very voices and faces are different from ours; stronger, quieter, happier, more radiant. They begin where most of us leave off. They are, I say, recognizable; but you must know what to look for. They will not be very like the idea of “religious people” which you have formed from your general reading. They do not draw attention to themselves. You tend to think that you are being kind to them when they are really being kind to you. They love you more than other [people] men do, but they need you less… They will usually seem to have a lot of time: you will wonder where it comes from. When you have recognized one of them, you will recognize the next one much more easily. And I strongly suspect (but how should I know?) that they recognize one another immediately and infallibly, across every barrier of color, sex, class, age, and even of creeds. In that way, to become holy is rather like joining a secret society. To put it at the very lowest, it must be great fun.

CS Lewis

That’s the beautiful thing. Creation, Christianity, and the Church is meant to display God-centered unity in God-created diversity. That’s so beautiful.

Brothers and sisters, welcome diversity. Embrace the brother and sister who is different. Look past the differences.

Creation is diverse. But Creation is unified according to God’s order and God’s goodness. The unity that holds together diversity is the Divinity. And it was true in Creation and it is true in the Church today.

Let’s say Pastor David, Jason Kwak, and I were all piano players. And we are in a room with 3 large pianos. But all 3 pianos are out of tune. So Pastor David tries to tune his piano by ear. And we all tune our pianos based on his piano because he is the best at piano out of all of us. What do you think the end result is? Well, all of us will be a bit off.

What’s the solution? All of this can be solved easily, with one tuning fork. With one tuning fork, all of our pianos can be tuned perfectly, not by trying to match each other, but by trying to match the tuning fork. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 pianos, 200 pianos, 2,000 pianos, or even 2 million pianos. All of them would sound the same because they are all tuned with the same tuning fork.

And that’s exactly how in diversity we need to tune our hearts with Jesus. Once again, we are diverse, and we are not searching for sameness, we are searching for unity. And the only way for us to be in tune with each other is like pianos to a tuning fork, for all of us to be in tune with Jesus Christ. And the more we are in tune with Jesus, the more we will be in tune with each other. And that is why when you look at the women of God and men of God, they are so diverse, so different, but still so in tune. It’s not because they are trying to be like each other, it’s because they are trying to be like Jesus.

There is beautiful community in diversity when Christ is our unity! God created us for diversity, held together in Him.

Conclusion

So what’s our story? What’s the story of humanity so far? What’s the origin of our story?

When we see that God is a God of order, God is a God of goodness, and God is a God of diversity, our story is one of purpose, love, and diversity. That is our story. That is the story of the human race. And that is what we are going to dive deeper into during this sermon series.

Sermons, GenesisDavid LeeComment