In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. God separated the light from the darkness.
Did you know that the Christmas story begins on the first page of Scripture? It begins with the words, “In the beginning, GOD…” You see, the Christmas story is a long, beautiful story about God. Before anything else existed, God was here. No one created God. He has always been, and he has always had everything he could ever need within himself. God is three in one–Father, Spirit, Son–and he is altogether beautiful and good.
The first thing the Bible tells us is that God is the Creator of all things. God spoke, “Let there be…” and the heavens and earth came into existence. Something from nothing by the power of his word. When the earth was first created, it began as a dark, chaotic ball of matter. So, the next thing God created was light to illuminate the dark world. Then, God formed and filled up all he had made with the sun, moon, stars, mountains, oceans, trees, and animals.
Why? If God doesn’t need anything, why would he create everything? The Bible says God created the whole world for his glory. God made the heavens and earth to put his goodness and beauty on display so that he might be enjoyed and praised. God’s majesty is showcased by the mountain range, his vastness proclaimed in oceans deep, and his beauty highlighted in the brilliance of a sunset sky. But none of these creations reflect the truest picture of God. No, he saved his best work for last. The crown of God’s creation is humanity— male and female made in his very image.
God made a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. These human creatures were both alike and different, but, together, they were meant to reflect the Creator more clearly than any other part of creation as they accomplished the important work he would give them to do on earth. God put Adam and Eve in a garden called Eden- The garden was full of trees with delicious fruit, but the best part was that God’s presence was with his children there.
God told Adam and Eve to care for and expand the garden as his representatives. He told them to have children and fill the earth with many more little “mirrors” who would reflect his glory. God gave Adam and Eve everything they would need to accomplish this work. He allowed them to eat food from any tree in the garden…except one…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This tree was a visible reminder that God is the one who decides what’s right and what’s wrong because He alone is the powerful and good Creator. If Adam and Eve obeyed God, they would be completely happy. The garden was a sanctuary full of peace, potential, and…LIGHT. But soon, a different type of darkness would cover God’s good earth, shrouding the light of his glory. This darkness would necessitate a different kind of Light to dispel and overcome it. The Christmas story is about the Light overcoming the darkness.