Belief in God through Creation   

I’d like us to consider this morning why we believe in God & how creation points us to God.
Later on in our service we will declare together our belief in:
God the Father who created the world
God the Son who saved the world 
God the Holy Spirit who sustains the worldBut why do we believe?
What is this faith we are bringing these children Ariana & Francesca up in?
Our first reading this morning was from the book of psalms. The psalms in the Bible are the worship songs of the Bible, of the people of God down the years, down the centuries (some 3000 years)!
Psalms give some pointers as to why people believe in God today & have believed in God down the centuries. There is one psalm which I like to call the Stannington Psalm which does point to God as our creator & our helper. It starts off, ‘I look to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven & earth’. It starts off with who we are & where we are at – as human beings we recognise our weakness & our need of help in this world. It continues by pointing us to who God is & where our help can be found – as we look at the hills around us, we see evidence of creation & our creator who is our help.
Psalm 8 is the same. It starts off & finishes with the line, ‘O Lord, our Lord your greatness is seen in all the world!’ It continues to describe how God made:
the moon & the stars
sheep & cattle
the birds & the fish
humankindPsalm 8 points us to who made the world, who made us, our need of God & our place within this world.
As we consider the order & beauty of the world & its place in the universe - who put it all together?
Last week in half term we walked over to Stannage Edge and again enjoyed the breath-taking beauty of the views – who put all that together? Another day we went to Wentworth Gardens and as well as the amazing chocolate cake in the café, we again experienced some amazing beauty as we walked through the woodland trails & then saw some amazing animals as we walked through the various animal houses: chameleons, exotic parrots & colourful fish – who put all that together? The astronaut James Irwin looking at the earth from space spoke of the planet as ‘such a warm, beautiful living object’ and said, ‘seeing this has to make a man appreciate the creation of God & the love of God.’
Who put all this together? God did.
Psalm 8 points us back to Genesis the first book of the Bible which describes in more detail how God made the world.
Some people struggle with Genesis because they read it in a very literal way and wonder how science & evolution & the big bang theory can possibly link in with such an account. I don’t have such a problem because I don’t see Genesis as a scientific text book or even a historical text book; I see it as a theological book simply given to convey the theological truths that:
God made us & our world
God loves us & want us to walk with HimAs we consider the beginning of our world & the current debate about the big bang theory, I remember my lecturer at college. He is a theologian & an astrophysicist – he simply made the point that you can take the big bang theory so far, but where did the initial spark come from?
Who made the world? God did.
Psalm 8 points us to created things & the place of humankind in all this. As we consider the natural world with the animal kingdom & the plant kingdom – who arranged all this?
Apparently if the earth was only 5% closer to the sun then all our water wold boil away & life would be impossible. If it was only 5% further away, then all water would freeze and again human life could not exist. Apparently if the oxygen levels of our planet were only 4% higher, then fires would break out all over the earth but if levels were only 6% lower, we would all suffocate. Apparently if gravity was significantly stronger, then any creature larger that an insect would be crushed to death. If gravity was significantly less, we would lose much of our atmosphere.
Who arranged all this? God did.
Psalm 8 points us to the responsibility of humankind in caring for creation.
As we consider ourselves and our inbuilt sense of right & wrong, who put it there? Where does our conscience come from? Why do we feel guilty when we do things that hurt others & often feel prompted to do good things? Is this evidence that we have been made in the image of God as the Bible teaches? CS Lewis in ‘Mere Christianity’ writes, ‘human beings all over the earth have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and can’t really get rid of it!’
Who gave us a conscience? God did
We have a similar theme in our gospel reading today as we read how Jesus also points us to God & has made God known.
It speaks of Jesus: who was present with God at creation, through whom all things were made, who has now come to our world as a human being to help us know our place as God’s children.
This creator God keeps calling us into relationship with him to know him as our Father, our Guide; calls us to be His children, calls us to play our part in his creation.
Psalm 8 & John 1 point to God our creator & his call to us.
What will our response be?
Baptism is one way of very clearly saying that we believe in:
-           God the Father who created the world
-           God the Son who saved the world
-           God the Holy Spirit who sustains the world
and that we want to follow in His way.
 

Tim Fletcher, 05/11/2017