I posted a quote yesterday from Robert Jenson pointing to the first of two themes that emerge from his reading of the Genesis creation narrative, that of God creating by speaking.
Today a quote and thought on the second theme: It is by valuing that God creates.
"God, according to Scripture, is the great Chooser and Lover. That he creates, means that he decides something other than himself is ‘very good.’ In Hebrew as in English, ‘good’ – Hebrew ‘tov’ – means good for something. God has purpose, and therefore there is a world. Moreover, – and astonishingly! – we know what his purpose is, since he has told us: the great ‘determinate counsel and purpose’ of God made before all ages, is the death and Resurrection of Jesus to fulfill his love for us, to fulfill his determination that we are ‘very good.’ As Luther put it in his Large Catechism, God created us in order to redeem us. You and I are here to play roles in Jesus’ story; and all the universe provides the stage and props." (Robert Jenson, A Large Catechism, 20).
The culture in which we live (late modern capitalism) encourages us to think of ourselves as independent, as those who have "rights," as those who are "free" (meaning everyone gets to be their own tyrant). Our culture tells us that we’re each writing our own stories, and we should have the "freedom" to write as we please, without interference from others.
The gospel shatters such illusions, and proclaims that we were not created to be our own tyrants, but to glorify God by receiving salvation. The gospel proclaims that the story of Jesus Christ is the true story of the world, and that in welcoming the gospel, we are freed from the tyranny of writing our own stories and are graciously and organically woven into the story of Jesus.
In other words, our highest calling is never to assert ourselves or claim our "rights," but, because God is the great Chooser, to simply accept that he has chosen us, and because he is the great Lover, to simply receive his love. Because we are creatures, our role is always a response to what the Creator has done.