Hayden Parrish 1.15.20
Daddy, could you be Kristoff?
After hearing this phrase several hundred times over the last month, I am beginning to catch on to what it means. My Frozen-obsessed two-year-old, Lucy, wants me to lay in the floor, hold her Kristoff doll, and nothing else. If I happen to rotate Kristoff’s head, wave his hand, or make him say something funny, Lucy lowers her eyebrows, shakes her head, and says, “no, no, no, no, no!” In her world, “being Kristoff” is about holding the doll upright and watching Anna and Elsa have all of the fun.
While this daily interaction is hilarious to me, Lucy is in the process of discovering how to play with others. She is slowly learning that handing a doll to someone during pretend time will most certainly lead that person to have their own form of pretend. Without knowing it, she is inviting someone a moment of freedom through play, whether she likes it or not.
At the very start of the Bible, Creator God displays his commitment to extending freedom. He made everything that exists ex nihilo (out of nothing). It is important to note that our existence was not inevitable. God wasn’t forced to make anything. In fact, God was perfectly satisfied within himself. Yet, out of his own freedom and desire, he chose to make us. Our very life is a gift.
While God could have fashioned humanity into creatures that automatically complied with his wishes, he elected to offer his own freedom to his creation. In Genesis 1:27, God makes men and women in his image. Each person is a reflection of him that bears his characteristics and his likeness. Part of this divine quality is our ability to choose him or choose something else. Free will or autonomy to make decisions.
God’s choice to allow freedom in creation creates risk. What if humanity doesn’t operate in its own best interest? What if they choose themselves over God?
This action shows that God is more interested in our willing partnership than blind obedience. God’s desire for all people is that we would each freely choose him, even though we often fail at this task. This risk would lead to God having to sacrifice his own son to set us free.
What was a moment that you have experienced personal freedom. This may be the time when you got your driver’s license, leaving home for college, or moving into your own place. Think about the excitement and also the fears associated with that new freedom.
What moments of “freedom” are you looking forward to in your life?
Spiritually speaking, when have you experienced freedom? (This may have been a moment that you gave your life to Jesus, or even a moment in worship).
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.
Why does God create a tree that has the potential lead them to death in his perfect garden? What do you make of this? Could there be “freedom” without that choice?
What does God risk in providing the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
Dear Lord, Help us to know how you created us. Thank you for giving us freedom by our creation and the sacrifice of your son. Lead us every day to new understandings of who you are. We want to grow our roots deep into your Truth and your peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.