Yesterday at church, Seth painted one 12 x 8 foot painting during each service. Four services, four paintings. While everyone was listening to our pastor speak about God's Greater Story, they were watching Seth paint it.
The story ends like this: God's ultimate purpose is that His Glory would be fully displayed through His people who reign with Him in Creation (Revelation 21 and 22.) He wants us to have a relationship with Him and He wants to do this whole beautiful creation thing together. Wow. Just that together part blows my mind. That a great and powerful God would want to do life with me. But what about the beginning of the story?
God created a wondrous creation and a people to reign in it with Him.(Genesis 1 and 2) It sounds a lot like the end. So what went wrong? What was man's answer to God's invitation?
He/she decided that they wanted to rule without God. (Genesis 3)
I don't know about you, but I can't do anything without God, but still that foolishness that Eve thought would be wisdom, runs in my blood and I struggle every day to remember that I can't do it with out God. And so many times I try!
So what did God do in response to our choice?
He became a man, to suffer and die the death we deserve...so that we can have the life we don't. Whoa... I can't even write that with out a whole range of emotion going through me.
And why did God have to go through this whole story? Why didn't he just skip to the end? Because with out all of it, we wouldn't fully know who God is. With out our "fall from grace" we wouldn't know that God is full of grace and mercy; which is such a beautiful part of life. With out Jesus's death, we could never know the height and width and depth of His love. How could we? Every piece has it's place in the story.
Here are Seth's paintings. The first is Creation, the second: The Fall, third: Redemption, and the fourth is Re-creation.
And I love this picture the most. To me it symbolizes how Seth has joined his personal story with God's greater story. Because Jesus has taken Seth's place on the cross, Seth has a hope that will not disappoint, because his life is secure. The end of Seth's story will be the the same ending as God's story. And Seth is taking his part in the greater story right now. Amazing.