Sermons

Summary: The God of Creation takes empty lives and gives them purpose.

Genesis 1:1-5

“From Chaos To Redemption”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

The first 5 verses of the Bible inform us that God brought Creation out of chaos.

And chaos is a word that we--as Americans--understand in a way that we never have understood it before.

In the past few years we have discovered what real chaos is.

In horror we have witnessed the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the chaos that

followed.

We know what this present darkness can do to teenagers as we’ve witnessed the images of the school

shootings in Paducah and Columbine.

September 11, 2001, is a date that, to use the words of Franklin Roosevelt, will “live in infamy.”

The pictures of airplanes deliberately crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will be

etched upon our psyche’s forever.

And when someone speaks of anthrax, small pox, e. coli, and nuclear warheads....

....immediately the picture is of the chaos that bio-terrorism and war might bring.

But our God is a God Who brings meaning and order out of chaos!

The essence of creation confirms this!

“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...”

The earth was without form, it was unshaped, undeveloped, and unfinished...

These are tough words, words of chaos, and hopelessness.

But maybe that’s the point.

All of us, at some time or another have found something about our lives that can be described with words like

formless, empty, and dark.

And as we go into the world, we come face to face with other people who feel as if these are the words

that describe their lives as well.

They feel as if there is no hope…that everything is formless and empty, and that darkness covers

everything.

Have you ever felt as if everything was out of order in your life…

…like nothing was fitting together properly as it should?

Many of us say things like: “Nothing ever works out right,” or “my personal life’s a mess,” or “my

career is in shambles”….

… “this is not how I planned life to be.”

There is only one way to have our lives move from the chaotic to the state where there is real peace and

real order.

We need God’s creative power!

We must put our lives in His hands, and let Him direct us.

God has a plan for all of us.

A perfect plan.

And yet so many of us are chasing our tails….

…our family lives may be dysfunctional…

…our finances may be a mess…

…we may have relationship problems…

…our lives may be constantly in upheaval.

Why?

Because too many of us are trying to live life according to our own wisdom to achieve our own desires.

And when we’re calling the shots…God isn’t!

When we’re calling the shots, we are devoid of God’s creative power.

But the good news is that there is no chaos that is too great for God to be able to turn into order.

The Bible tells us that Abraham believed this.

God “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”

And because Abraham believed this, he became the father of many nations!

Nothing is impossible with God.

Many people complain about the meaninglessness of life.

Some people get to the point where they are ready to give up on life—not necessarily because of the

hardships they are facing—but because of their boredom, the monotony, the lack of purpose.

And this is what King Solomon felt whenever he looked at life on earth without reference to God.

In the book of Ecclesiates he cries: “Meaningless! Meaningless!….Everything is meaningless.”

In other words, it’s all in vain—life is just the passing of time.

And without God, this is true. We exist, but nothing more.

Only God can turn empty years into full seasons!

I love living in Virginia where we can enjoy 4 seasons.

A few months ago it was Autumn, and we saw all those beautiful colors as the leaves started falling from

the trees.

Now winter has come.

We have crisp mornings, cold rains…and sometimes snow and wind.

This gets us truly ready for spring—when the warmth starts to return and everything seems to brighten.

And finally, we have summer…

…hot days, balmy nights, crickets and bbq’s.

Aren’t the seasons wonderful?

Each of them have their own peculiar beauty.

I love the seasons, and God created them.

He hung the stellar bodies in place, and He marked out the seasons.

Only God can make the days and weeks flow together in rhythm.

Only God can put meaning and purpose into life.

As Christians we still experience difficult seasons…

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