Study Guide: Creator of the Little

Sunday October 9, 2011 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

In Jesus, all things were created and are being sustained by him. Whether you think the world was created billions of years ago or 4,000 years ago, the only thing that matters is the sustaining breath of God. In this sermon, Greg tackles some of the ways in which we can view the interaction of science and faith. He also shows the beauty of a God who sustains the smallest things in this world.

Extended Summary:

Creation was made by Christ, they were created for him, and he holds all things together. Whenever we talk about creation in an evangelical context, someone eventually brings up evolution. Many assume that since the world is created by God and humans are the image of God means that they have to deny evolution. When we affirm that Christ created everything and that humans are the image of God, we are ruling out the possibility that humans were created by randomness and chance mutations. Humans were created with a purpose. However, this doesn’t mean that God didn’t use evolution to create human beings. Any and all processes in this universe are usable by the hands of God in creating his creation.

Whatever your view on evolution or any other controversial topic, remember that the only tragedy would be rejecting Jesus based upon some understanding of a fringe topic. At the center of our faith is the person of Jesus Christ, and he alone sustains us and gives us truth.

The really beautiful part of this passage is when Paul talks about how in Christ “all things hold together.” Whether Christ created the universe 4,000 or 15 billion years ago, he didn’t just sit back and let things happen. Rather, Jesus played an integral role in sustaining and continuing the creation of this world. He still plays that role today. And any future scientific advance won’t deter from this belief. Even if scientists find the most basic of building blocks and can explain how everything came to be through a process, Christ still controls that process. Scientists may not understand this truth, but anyone touched by God’s love fully understands it.

Our world is like a puzzle. While it has many different pieces with different shapes and sizes, all the pieces are important. If you were to build a puzzle that is missing a piece, the puzzle wouldn’t make sense, and it would feel like a giant waste of time if you finish the puzzle and see that you’re missing a piece. Every piece has a purpose, no matter its size, shape, or place in the puzzle.

We are a piece in the puzzle of this world. Whether we’re the person preaching on the weekend or someone changing the diapers of our kids during the service, we are all important to the picture that God is creating in this world. Our lives can feel in disarray when we don’t live by this truth. If we think we need to be superstars in the church to matter, such as leading worship or working miracles, then we can feel like we don’t matter if we don’t do those things. This thought couldn’t be further from the truth. When we refuse to submit to the truths of Christ, our lives become miserable. We don’t feel like we fit, are loved, or are worth being loved. Christ sustains us with these truths in order to make his picture perfect, we only have to be the piece we were created to be.

When Paul wrote this passage, it was shocking to the world around him. Paul was talking about Jesus, a person that many people knew. Yet, Paul talks about him creating and sustaining the universe. If we talked about some person, who died within the past 30 years, as Paul talked about Jesus—we would be considered crazy. How can someone create and sustain the universe, if that person was born midway through the universe’s life? Yet, Jesus became the sustainer of every small thing in this world, and he gave value and significance to the small things of this world by being born.

Imagine that the creator and sustainer of this world was once a zygote. A little clump of cells in his mother’s womb. Then, this amazing being grew up as a child, but instead of being a superstar, he chose to honor his father and mother. He chose to follow the ways of his father. He chose to be a carpenter for many years. Only for a small portion of his life on earth did he play the role of preacher, prophet, and messiah. Then, for a man accustomed to working with the smell of wood and the bite of nails, he was crucified for the sins of this world. Yet, he was raised again three days later to bring restoration to the universe that he created.

The small things of this world matter to God. All the pieces of the puzzle have to fit in order for the picture to look as it Creator deemed it to look. As mother Theresa once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” Whether it’s changing diapers in the children’s area or preaching the sermon, we all play a part in this Kingdom that Jesus made and is sustaining.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. Take a moment and think about the intersection of science and faith. What are your thoughts on what Greg had to say? What would you like to add to the discussion?
  3. Jesus made every small thing significant. In what ways do you feel insignificant in this world?
  4. Every puzzle needs every piece to be complete. How do you think your “insignificance” fits into the puzzle of Jesus’ Kingdom?