Summary: We are important to God because He personally created us!
Among the treasures of our home are two quilts. One hangs on the quilt rack in the entry hallway of our home. On one section of that quilt are many names of a particular congregation we have served.
A second quilt given to us by another congregation hangs over the back of the rocker in our living room. Now, it does not bear the names of that congregation’s members, but each square of that quilt represents something about us. For example, it contains the colors of the bridesmaid’s dresses in Susan’s bridal party. There is also one about our cat, Inky, who died last year at age 16.
Neither one of these quilts were bought at a store. They were handmade. Some of us here this morning have been involved in such projects. You know the work involved. Some of us here have been the recipients of these wonderful gifts.
There is something about handmade gifts, isn’t there? The time, the quality, the beauty of them grabs you and you treasure them like nothing else. A handmade gift is a gift from the heart.
Humankind was handmade. But, not by just any hands; humankind was made by the hands of God. In our other text for this morning, Genesis 2:4-22, we read of how humankind was, as the Psalmist put it, “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Have you ever considered what it was like to be Adam and Eve before the fall? I want to read Genesis 2:4-22 and as I do I want you to briefly think about what it would have been like to be Adam and Eve. (Read the passage)
Can you imagine being Adam or Eve in that environment? No pain, no fear, no anxiety; peace, love, a face-to-face relationship with God! We could call it heaven on earth!
I e-mailed some friends of mine and asked them that same question: What would it be like to be Adam and Eve! Here is what some of them said:
I think it would have been cool. None of today’s problems (varying from diseases to mortgage payments...and all the emotional problems). Wouldn’t it have been great to be able to worship God with hardly any distraction or temptations? After the apple...I don’t think I would want to have that many kids!!
It would be wonderful to be Adam and Eve - clean mind, clean heart, clean thoughts and direct access to a God who comes to walk with you everyday.
Pretty cool...I wouldn’t be so shocked by what people wear these days!
But, to paraphrase one of the respondents, we live “after the apple.” We live with pain, problems, disease, war, terrorism, and a whole host of things that cause us to be deeply alienated from God.
We are on a journey this fall through some opening chapters of the Bible. We began last Sunday with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning, God create the heavens and the earth,” and the subject of “God’s good work.” Our Bible journey will parallel the stories that our children will hear in Sunday School and, starting tomorrow night, during our FW Friends weeknight ministry. We will also be discussing the sermon and the Genesis scripture passage during the adult Sunday School class that I lead each week and so if you would like to ask a question or make a comment, join us downstairs after morning worship.
These are stories that we have heard many times throughout the years. They are from a time and place that is distant and foreign to us. But, they are important because they lay the groundwork for God’s action in human history. If there is one thing that I hope you will understand during this series, it is that the opening chapters of the Bible tell of a God who is involved with His creation, not absent from it.
God is involved with His creation from the very start. In verse 7 of Genesis 2 we read: “And the Lord God formed a man’s body from the dust of the ground and breathed into it the breath of life. And the man became a living person.” So, as the text tells us that God personally formed humankind.
Now we also read in verse 19 “So the Lord God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird.” So both Adam, and later Eve, and all of the animals and birds are formed from the earth. However, it is critical to note two things in this passage: First, God is personally concerned with the aloneness of Adam. So, as we read in verse 18 and following, God creates animals and birds and gives Adam the authority to name them. But God observes that there was no companion suitable for Adam. And He creates Eve.
The second thing to notice is that the text makes clear that God breathed the breath of life into Adam. Now, the birds and the bees also use oxygen. But, I think that we can safely say that there was more to the breath of God than just oxygen. In the act of breathing, God gave Adam, and us, a soul.