In a small group led by Jen Kincaid, we thought about how God created, at the beginning of what we know as time (Genesis 1:1), and that even now, He is still creating (Psalm 51:10). Below are the short and long versions of how I processed SMI Phillys encapsulation of that thought.

The Short Version (prose)

God has us on the potters wheel, shaping us, forming us, molding us, transforming us.

Several days at SMI, various students showered multiple times daily. Not because we were constantly covered in dirt and grime, but for a number of reasons. One reason would be to start the day. Admittedly, a second reason would indeed be to wash off subjective feelings of dirt and grime. Yet a third reason would be to wash off chlorine after being in the pool. Then if you got in the pool again after dinner, you might have been tempted to wash up a fourth time.

That perpetual cleansing reminds me of 1 John 1:9. We were reminded during SMI that God forgives us of our sin, then actually cleanses. I thought about the fact that Gods cleansing does not just clean us, it transforms us (2 Corinthians 3:18). He takes nothing and turns it into something. He takes a heart that is unclean and makes it clean. And every time we make it dirty, He cleanses us all over again. He keeps renewing us as new creatures, as new creation. Scriptures tell us that God never changes. Indeed, He is still the Creator.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ~ Genesis 1:1

Create in me a pure heart, Oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~ Psalm 51:10.

As He continually creates a new heart within us (2 Corinthians 4:6), He invites to take the lampshade off, to let others see the work He is doing in us, and hopefully inspire them to allow God to create a new heart in them too. God never fails.

As Steve Munz put it, I suspect that God, being the Creator, will continue to create.

The Long Version (poem: God is Still The Creator 2011 Sherry-Ann Brown)

God has a knack

For creating something

Out of nothing (Genesis 1:2).

For taking the earth

Without shape or form

And most omnipotently

Proceeding to transform

Its depths

Into land and seas

And birds and trees

And man (Genesis 1).

Then even when man

Fell from grace (Genesis 3:11)

God created a way

For man still

To seek His face (John 3:16).

And seek Him we must (Matthew 6:33),

Indeed we must trust (Psalm 52:8).

That His every deed

Ultimately

Plants a seed (Matthew 13:8)

That He waters

And allows to flourish (John 7:37, 38).

And yet

Within our heart

He sets apart

Room for Himself (2 Corinthians 1:22).

And even in

Our inner dark depths

Where our hearts

Are without shape or form

He consistently transforms

Our thoughts, ideals, and desires (Psalm 51:10),

So that we begin to conform

To standards that are higher (Romans 12:2)

That are holy, that are pure (Philippians 4:8),

That allow our Creator

To create once more:

Something

Out of nothing.

And too, in streets and alleys

Where darkness once lay

Where families and hope

Were restless and in decay

God stepped in

And proceeded to create

Life, peace, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)

Long forgotten.

First by revealing His love

Through His Only Son begotten (1 John 3:16).

And through the blood

Of the innocent Son of Man

God has been steadily

Healing His land.

This is the land

That God created (Genesis 1:1).

The same land

That Satan hated.

The land where

God placed man (Genesis 2:15),

And jumpstarted

His masterplan.

The land that man decided

He knew how best to keep (Genesis 3:6)

The land that is now broken

And joins in as man weeps (Romans 8:22).

The land that longs

To be soaked in Gods laundry

In order to come out clean (Psalm 51:7)

The land

Occupied by man

Who prays to be scrubbed

Who prays for a snow-white life (Psalm 51:7)

Not a life stained by strife.

Not a life lived by the knife.

But a life that sets

Once-broken bones

To dancing (Psalm 51:8)

And a life that responds

To Gods commanding.

A life that will seek

For God to shape a Genesis week

From the chaos and the entropy

A life that wants to be holy.

From David and Bathsheba

God created Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24),

When offended with adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11:4,15),

God redeemed with wisdom (1 Kings 3:9)

And so God

Created us as mini-mes (2 Corinthians 3:18)

And gives us

His same Spirit.

His Spirit that transforms (2 Corinthians 4:16).

His Spirit that fills us (Acts 4:31)

With faith, instead of fear (2 Timothy 1:7),

Because there is no room for fear.

Faith to live out loud (Romans 1:16)

Faith to step out

From the cloud

To throw off the shroud (Philippians 1:21)

To step out of our

Grave clothes

That we deeply

Hold on to (Luke 17:33).

To leave the

Cemetary rags

Behind,

And walk the streets

Of this city (Luke 10:1).

In newness of life (Romans 6:4)

Offering His opportunity

For life (Matthew 28:19,20).

Offering the One

Who gave His life.

So that we

Can have eternal life (John 3:15).

But also abundant life (John 10:10)

On earth.

A life that looks a lot like His (Romans 8:29(

A life in which we give

Ourselves.

The way He did

But not quite.

Because He died that we might

Live,

And love the lost,

The forsaken, the broken, just as

He did when He

Defined Social Justice.

Blest be the ties that

Bind our hearts to His,

Our hearts to each other,

Our hearts to each city.

Even as we go and SMI begins,

Our community lives on in Him.

When we asunder part,

It gives us inward pain;

But we shall still be

Joined in heart,

And Hope to meet again.

~ Blest be the tie that binds by Fawcett, Nageli, and Mason

And so we shall

With common purpose,

Common experiences, common goals,

All created in our renewed hearts

By an uncommon God.

Sherry-Ann

© 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church.

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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By Sherry-Ann Brown. © 2020 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org