FRIENDS WHO RECENTLY returned from an Alaskan cruise reminded me of the incredible extravagance of God. As they spoke about the amazingly beautiful things they had seen, it struck me how few people had experienced those same sights—and yet God still thought it was worth going to all that trouble.
And then consider that, despite all the exploration that has gone on, there are probably yet some small corners of the planet—and certainly of outer space—with unknown remarkable views. Vistas that have yet to be seen by human eye. But God enjoyed creating them anyway, for an audience of none (or One). Just for the heaven of it, you might say.
All this nudged me back to the creation account in Genesis, where I found deeper appreciation for God’s creativity. Through the first five days of creation, God declares “let” for each stage—let there be light, let the waters gather, let there be vegetation and so on. Each declaration brings something into being, apparently by fiat.
Then things change on the sixth day, when God declares, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis added). Instead of an announcement of what will be, there’s an invitation to the Trinity to participate in something special.
I know there’s a danger in anthropomorphism, but I can’t help feeling a sense of amazing playfulness and wonder in this. There’s no hint of duty; no ought to; no, “Well, I suppose We should.” It’s more the hand-clapping delight of, “Let’s!” No wonder God said He was very pleased with the end result. (Perhaps that’s why God decided humankind should have some fun in bringing about new life, too.)
I’m also struck by how God’s ultimate creation—us in His image—is a community project. It involves all of the Godhead. Makes me think that, as His image-bearers we should similarly expect to need to be in community if we are to bring good things into being. Yet so often we prefer the rugged individualism approach.