Summary: 2nd in series on Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s role in creation, calling us to Wake Up! our spirits to the reality of God around us.
I Speak, Therefore You Are. Series: “The Holy Who?”
May 10/11, 2003
THE NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES
Six married men will be dropped on an island with 1 car and 4 kids each, for 6 weeks. Each kid plays two sports and either takes music or dance classes. There is no access to fast food.
Each man must take care of his 4 kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, do laundry, etc. The men only have access to television when the kids are asleep and all chores are done. There is only one TV between them and there is no remote.
The men must shave their legs and wear makeup daily, which they must apply themselves, either while driving or while making four lunches. They must attend weekly PTA meetings; clean up after their sick children at 3:00 a.m.; make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker; and get a 4-year-old to eat a serving of peas.
The kids vote them off the island, based on performance.
The last man wins only if he has enough energy to be intimate with his spouse at a moment’s notice.
If the last man does win, he can play the game over and over again for the next 18-25 years...eventually earning the right to be called "Mother."
Calvin comic or two?
Last week we began a sermon series focused on the third person of the Trinity – the Holy Spirit – by talking about how the Holy Spirit is fully God, just as the Father is fully God and the Son is fully God. We concluded by recognizing that the Holy Spirit works to draw us into relationship with God. Today I want to look at the Holy Spirit’s role in creation, and how that continues today.
To begin that look, I want to take you to Gen. 1:2. Right away, we see the Holy Spirit of God intimately involved in creation. The NIV text says, “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.” As we read the rest of the creation account, we see that God speaks, and what He speaks comes into being. It is evident from this verse that it is the activity of the Holy Spirit which brings the Word of the Father into being. This is confirmed in Psalm 104:30: “When you send your Spirit, they [referring to all living things of creation] are created, and you renew the face of the earth.” We see this specifically in the story of the creation of humanity in Gen. 2:7: “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (“breath” is a consistent OT image of the Spirit of God, especially when used in terms of “breath of life”).
So the Holy Spirit plays a primary role in creation. God the Father speaks, and the Holy Spirit brings His creative will into being.
The verse from Gen 1:2 uses the word, “hovering” over the waters. The image the writer is using is that of a mother bird hovering above her nest, an image that Eugene Peterson captures in his “The Message” translation: “God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.” The only other place where we have this word used the same way is in Deut. 32:11, where God is described “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them.”
So the image is very much a maternal image – God the Holy Spirit, like a mother bird, tending and nurturing creation. Bringing it into being.
This is significant for two reasons, one theological and one practical. The practical reason this is significant is because of the parallels here between the Holy Spirit’s role in creation of every part of the universe, and the mother’s role in creation of new human life. I don’t know if you’ve ever really thought of it this way, but a mother has an incredible, unique opportunity to participate with God in creation. As the child grows within the womb, the mother is intimately involved with God in the nurturing and creation of new life. What an amazing privilege! What the Holy Spirit does in creating life and the universe is described in Scripture like a mother bird hovering over her creation, and a human mother has the incredible opportunity to participate in this ongoing creation in a personal way as a child grows within her. That is truly amazing!
The theological reason this is significant is because of the ongoing nature of the Spirit’s role in creation. It is not a one-time, static image. The image of the mother bird is not of one that lays an egg and then takes off, but of one that stays and looks on and protects and then nurtures the new life as it begins to emerge. I am completely convinced that the Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the ongoing creation in our universe. Every creature that is born is superintended by the Holy Spirit. Every seed that falls to the ground and dies, and then is reborn has, I believe, received the touch of life of God the Holy Spirit. Every beautiful flower that blossoms expresses the beauty of its creator.