In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. Now the Earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
“Advent begins in the dark.” Though Christmas is called the season of lights, we remember that the story starts in darkness, longing for the light to come. Genesis 1 opens with an image of chaos. Darkness, void, the Spirit hovering over the waters. Yet out of that chaos, God brings Creation. The first chapter of the Bible describes the work of His Creation. And the pinnacle of His work comes in verses 26 and 27, the forming of humanity in the image of God.
Genesis 1:26-27 – Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female, He created them.
All of Creation reflects his glory. But only humanity bears His image. With that privilege comes a mission. God roots Adam and Eve in His garden as His representatives, entering a covenant partnership with them. “He will be our God; we will be His people. “Genesis reminds us of the fall in the garden that broke the covenant and eventually led to the world’s flooding.
After the flood, God again planted the idea of hope in Noah and his family by assuring them He would not destroy the Earth again and promised to be with them if they chose Him. This covenant involved a commitment on their part to embody His character, His will, and His way of being in the world.
Adam and Eve, Noah, and his family are chosen as representatives of God’s covenant with humanity. Even though they fail in their covenant mission, God is still faithful to His promise. Genesis 1-3 reminds us that what went wrong in the garden is set right through Jesus. Genesis 6-9 reminds us that even though sin is judged, grace provides the rescue.
The ultimate fulfilment of this HOPE is found in Jesus. He takes the judgment of sin and becomes the expression of our rescue on the cross. From the very beginning, He has been our long-awaited hope. Today, because we are part of God’s promises, we are invited to experience and remind others that God has been with us and remains close to this day.