Day 2: “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.”

Read Genesis 1:20-31

The story opens with God busy creating everything.

He speaks matter into existence, shapes it into stars and planets, and sets them spinning in a dance so complex and elegant that humans will need thousands of years to figure it out. Then he shapes other matter into earth, plants, and animals.

Finally, he creates something very different, something more like himself than all the rest: humankind.

When he is finished creating he steps back and looks at it all, and he likes it. He calls it ‘good’. You can almost hear his deep, satisfied, sigh. ‘Yes’, he might have said, ‘this is just what I wanted it to be. I like my creation,’ – my creation.

Have you ever made something: a go-cart, a card, a drawing, a bird house, a cake, a shirt, a vase, a poem, or a loaf of bread? If you have, you know what I mean when I say that some things are ours, in a way that is more than ownership. They are ours in the sense that they are a part of us, they originated in us and came from us and no matter what happens after that, they are ours – even if someone else owns them.

You can especially see how this works with paintings. The whole world refers to the Mona Lisa as Leonardo DaVinci’s painting; no matter how long he’s been dead, or how many different people and museums have owned it.

Leonardo painted it. It’s his.

In the same way, God is the creator of everything and everyone we know. This means he has a claim to us and our world that goes deeper than we realize. Although he has given us to ourselves, so to speak, by making us independent, we still belong to Him in the sense that we are made by him. We are expressions of his nature, his work.

His fingerprints are all over us. He made us. We are his.

He made you. You are his.

Day 1: “In the beginning, God created”

Read Genesis 1:1-19

This is the story about everything.

The setting is the entire, dancing universe and every atom in it; from the beginning of creation, all through history, to beyond the future.  The characters are every living person who has ever been, who is now, and who will ever be.

You, reading these words, and I, writing them, are characters in this story. If you will accept it, this is your story.

Although I use the word story, I don’t mean it is made up. It’s the truest story you will ever read. In fact, it’s the one true story that makes sense of every other story.

The author of this story is God, but he’s not just the author. He’s the playwright, the stage designer and builder, the lighting expert, the director, and even – in a strange way – the audience. In fact, he is the whole reason for the story. It begins with him, it unfolds in him, and it will end where it began – with Him.

This story about everything is told in the Bible; but it is such a big story, told in so many different voices, and mixed together with so very many smaller stories, that it can sometimes be hard to follow the main plot.

So I want to be your guide. I will give you a passage a day to read. We will start at the beginning and work our way to the very last verse of the bible. We’ll skip a lot of passages, but will always trace the big story.

I will almost never give you more than twenty verses to read and then I will comment on them, highlighting things that help you see and follow the story more easily.

What I really want, what I am asking God for, is this: that he would explain the story to you so clearly, so vividly, that it will seem to have come to life all around you – with you in the center of it.

Because it has, and you are.