Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Created and Entrusted - January 14, 2018

Genesis 1:26-31

We are starting our new worship series about identity. Who are you? As Kay shared earlier, we have a lot of voices telling us who we are and what we are about....making value judgments about us because of what they think they know And as Christians, we are told there is a larger truth—God's truth. God says who we are...we are created, given a purpose, beautifully and wonderfully

made. We are forgiven. And we are beloved. Now, I don't know about you, but those things seem to be strikingly different than what the world likes to say about us.
So, as we start the new year, the time when we're self-evaluating, measuring, and writing goals, we wanted to talk about identity in God and Christ and how allowing those truths to set our course can make a vital difference.
So we started with Genesis 1—how we were created. Now, I want to put the disclaimer that I'm not trying to argue science here. I would even say, I don't think the Bible is a science book. I think the Bible is a that describes the relationship of people, starting in the Ancient Near East, with God. And Genesis gives us an orientation to who God is and who we are in relation to God.
And as an orientation, there are two creation accounts in the book of Genesis. One in chapter 1 and one in chapter 2. Did you know there were 2? Most of us have heard both but we've merged them as one in our minds. This one is the 7 days version. Genesis 2 is the dirt and breath and rib one. If you haven't looked closely, I'd encourage you to take a little time in your Bible this week to check out the differences. And if you have questions afterward, let me know.
In today's story, God encounters darkness and chaos—a formless void and begins to create order. A little at a time. Light and dark. The dome of the sky. Land and sea. Vegetation. The stars and the sun and the moon. And living creatures of every kind. All of them deemed good as God reflected back.
And then comes humankind....made in God's image...male and female created in the image and likeness of God...and it was very good. Why does that matter? Well, because that becomes our starting and I are made in God's image. We are a reflection of the creator. Too often the church says our starting place is sin. We are wicked. We are evil. We deserve punishment. But that's not the definition of who we are. Who we are is created beings—-who stand as a reflection of God here on earth. That may seem simple. But if we believe, it, if we hold to it, that can be life-changing for us and for those around us.
Let's take a few moments to think about it. We live in a culture of competition and judgment. Who is better? Who is smarter? Who is more attractive? Who is more successful? Who is more righteous? Who is more sinful? Who is more competent? Who is more worthy? We are taking and making micro and macro calculations of each of those things all the time. Who has more wrinkles? Who has more gray hairs? Who is a better parent? Whose kids didn't screw up like ours did? Who spends more time helping others? Who is a better artist? Who is more successful at work? Who got the promotion? Who gets the boss' attention? Who lives more freely in their retirement? Who travels more? Who has the bigger house? Who has more debt? Who has the better car? Any of this sounds familiar?
Now, evaluation isn't necessarily a bad thing, but we don't use those questions simply to garner knowledge. Right? We use it to make value judgments. We aren't trying to build everyone up. We're trying to know who stands where. And in all of that, we begin to minimize the truth of each person. We see them for only a sliver of who they are (or maybe, not even who they are but just who we think they are).
But if we go to a basic level....we have to look for a truth that applies to all people...regardless of where they were born, or what opportunities they were afforded, or what kind of clout their family had, or any external factors and ask, "Who are you?" And the first answer we hear in scripture is, "You are created in the image of God, and when God created you, God said you were very good."
You are created in the image of God. Do you believe that? What does that mean? Does God look like some weird amalgamation of all of our features? Or are we a beautiful refraction of God's features? In case you didn't guess, I think it's the latter—-we are the refraction....we are the bits and pieces of beauty that we see of God.

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Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

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The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...

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