We serve a God who makes something out of nothing.

He did it in creation, taking the blank canvas of space and turning it into an ever-expanding network of galaxies, planets, suns, wormholes, black holes, supernovas, matter, energy, light, and life. In that moment that science has come to term the Big Bang, He spoke–and all that empty potential turned into everything.

He did it in the stories we know so well from the Old Testament. He took men who were nothing and multiplied them, multiplied their belongings, multiplied their faith until they became fathers of nations and the family from which would come the salvation of us all. And then He tells us to watch out, because He’s going to do something new.

I am about to do something new.
    Now it comes to fruition;
    can you not perceive it?
I will make a path through the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19)

He did it in the most spectacular fashion when He put His words in the mouth of an angel who declared, “Hail Mary, full of grace–the Lord is with you!” and told a humble, virgin Jewish girl that He was going to put the Word into her womb, for the salvation of us all. When He made life spring up in what ought to have been a barren place, where seed had never been planted, a vine that would yield the most abundant life ever to tread the earth. Word made flesh. The ultimate something from a creation full of nothing.

He did it in the disciples, the apostles, the first believers. He took the lives they’d lived before and made them see that that had been nothing, had been vapors, had been emptiness compared to the fullness He offered through Christ. He took away the chaff, burned away the dross, and left those fathers of our faith with something pure and undefiled and completely flying in the face of conventional wisdom.

I count everything as loss because of the supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake, I have suffered the loss of all other things, and I regard them as so much rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. (Philippians 3:8)

He takes us, we who start out as nothing but a collection of cells, and breathes life into us. He turns us from random biology into the image of God. He instills us, all of us, with dignity and purpose.

But oh, how skilled we humans are at taking that paradise and turning into a desert! We lie, we steal, we cheat, we covet. We commit, all of us, sins that brand us as criminal in the eyes of the just Judge. We are nothing–nothing.

Praise God that isn’t the end of our story! Like the desert in Isaiah, like the wilderness that Christ willingly entered, we are, in our disgrace, potential in the hands of God. We are where He makes something new. We are the dry, acrid sands from which will spring the well of life–Christ.

We are nothing, made something in Him. And then…then we are everything. Because we are Christ. Joint-heirs. Princes and princesses of the Kingdom, endowed with all that He is, if we but claim it and operate in it and seek His about ours. Not because of anything we can claim, but because of who claims us as His own.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

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