Very Good

3 comments Written on November 11th, 2015     
Filed under: Testimonies and Stories
Mary Profile PicMary Peterson serves as Pastor of Children, Youth and Family Ministry at Highland Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington. She is also President of Advocates for Covenant Clergy Women.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

No doubt this passage from Genesis is familiar to you. The kids in our church are reminded every September that God created all that we see in this world, including you and me. Genesis 1 goes on to give more details regarding those first few days, weeks and months of Earth’s existence. God was busy, to say the least. As we enter the creation narrative, we see God’s imagination running wild as aardvarks began to roam the earth while bacteria quietly reproduced in the tiniest of places, and elephants looked up to see pterodactyls flying overhead. Scripture tells us that God looked at all he had made and saw that it was good.

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’”

The author of Genesis repeats the important parts to remind us that humans were created in the image of God- to reflect our Creator.

Often we think of the command to “be fruitful” in the most basic way of multiplying through reproduction… go forth and make babies. I think this passage is asking us to do way more than that– God is telling his people, the man and the woman, to go out together and fill the planet in his image. God filled the planet with creative and beautiful things. And we are invited, or even, commanded to go out together and be creative. My seminary professors referred to this as “the cultural mandate.” God gives that first woman and man instructions to go out and create culture- all of the things that make us human. From art to engineering to politics, making culture is making a way for us to do life and live together. And God gave this responsibility to both the female and the male.

We are not able to create the kind of culture that God imagined on our own. We need one another… “male and female he created them.” God has gifted each person in beautiful ways to go out and make culture, be fruitful and fill the earth. Maybe God has gifted you with teaching, or maybe you have killer skateboard skills, or maybe you are researching a cure for cancer. Maybe you can pick up any instrument and make music. Your organizational skills can be what makes the ministry at your church come to life. Maybe your paint brush makes spaces beautiful and thought-provoking. Maybe you partner with your sewing machine to make blankets for teen moms to wrap up their newborns. Maybe you use computers to make the internet work more smoothly. Or design roads that make it possible for people to commute to work safely. Perhaps God has called you to lead the church and point people to Jesus. Maybe God has called you to raise a family or tutor children at the school across the street.

And the good news is that all of those things can be done by God’s people- male and female. Your gender does not prevent you from living fully into what God has called you to do. In fact, your gender is needed to carry out God’s plan. After all, “male and female he created them… God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Take a few moments to think about the people God has placed in your life. Are there any who need to be reminded that they were created in the image of God? Are there any who are waiting to hear that they are called and gifted? Are there any men or women in your church who need to hear that God wants them to participate in the creative process of bringing forth his kingdom? Maybe you are the one who needs to speak into their lives and remind them that God created them and calls them to do something important.


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3 comments “Very Good”

Very Good! Well done. Thanks, Mary. So enjoyed your insights.

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Mary, may your words continue to prompt us to speak to the co-laboring that God has always intended for all of us who have said yes to our call. 

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